2 Corinthians 12: 2-10
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know–God knows. And I know that this man–whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows–was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man are not permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say.
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul learned important lessons from the things that he suffered. Although Paul prayed with pleadings three times for healing in his body, he did not receive physical healing from God instead it was a constant torment in his flesh that was a reminder for him to be humble. We, like Paul, need to remain humble knowing that God in his grace provides his perfect power in us when we are weak. We can rejoice because in our weakness, we can receive God’s power to be strong. When we are insulted, we can learn self-control. In hardships, we can learn to be content. In persecutions, we can learn to trust God. In difficulties, we can gain faith to know that God will provide.
Father thank you for doing your perfect work in our lives when we fully trust your every provision. Help us to remember that all praise and honor belong to you. We ask that you keep us humble, always to give you praise because all good things are a gift from you and your grace is sufficient in Jesus’ name, amen.