Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living ©
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.
(2 Corinthians 12:10 (NIV))
Once again, we are told of things that don’t make sense, that go against human nature.
Why would anyone delight in these things? It almost sounds like Paul is saying that he would rather face these types of conditions than to face peace. What was he thinking?
Think about that for a moment and then think about your life. I know that when I think about my life, I have a new understanding of these words. Once again, it is a matter of perspective.
I think that Paul hit upon the concept of his strength and his faith and the relationship that the two have to each other. Before his Damascus road experience, Paul thought he had the world under his control. He felt that he was the ideal Jew and that he had done everything right, yet he lacked true faith and understanding. In his strength, Paul was weak in his faith.
After his Damascus road experience, Paul had a change of heart. He realized that his strength meant nothing. He realized that what he so proudly boasted of meant nothing in God’s kingdom.
Then, as now, too many people make the mistake of wanting strength, money and power. I know that there are always exceptions, but having strength, money and power often results in selfish desires with no thought to others or to God. Paul was driven, but for all of the wrong reasons. He was doing everything that society said that he should do.
Paul, during his evangelism to the gentiles, faced many things. Things that a good Jew would not have faced. Paul was going against the grain. Because he was doing what God called him to do, he faced ridicule and persecution from people who did not understand. In his weakness in the physical world, he relied more and more on his relationship to Jesus and God. His faith grew stronger. When he was weak in the physical world, he grew stronger in his faith.
If you are like me with what you face, and who isn’t in this life, then you face many weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties. It is my prayer that we may all grow stronger when we are weak.