2 Corinthians 12:1-10
This boasting will do no good, but I must go on. I will reluctantly tell about visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows. 3 Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know4 that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.
5 That experience is worth boasting about, but I’m not going to do it. I will boast only about my weaknesses. 6 If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, 7 even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.
8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
God’s power works best in our weaknesses. Paul wants to focus on his weaknesses for then the power of Christ could work in him. What does he mean by his “weaknesses?”
For one, it was his “thorn in the flesh.” He says God left that thorn there to keep him from being proud. Somehow his “thorn” was a part of his weakness, but also kept him humble. It’s all so paradoxical that it makes it hard for us to understand.
Where am I weak? I am inconsistent. I’m not as concerned with people’s salvation as I should be. It’s hard to describe or even identify with Paul. And if I could, how would the paradox work? How does God use my weaknesses to make me strong. I need to spend more time working on this.