May 18, 2020 – Monday
2 Corinthians 12:10 NIV
10 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.
How seemingly odd to have Paul boasting or delighting in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. Then to make such a following statement For when I am weak, then I am strong. What are we to make of such from Paul?
First of all we might consider that Paul was able to deal with all of these with a certain gratification when he knew he was dealing with all of them for the sake of Christ. Paul is effectively saying he rejoices in the privilege of suffering for Christ, for the glory of sharing the good news of Christ. There is no doubt Paul felt honored to be one who shared the wonderful news of Jesus as the Christ spoken of in the Old Testament.
Then what to make of his paradoxical statement For when I am weak, then I am strong. Barnes’ Notes on the Bible makes it personal by explaining What Christian has not experienced this, and been able to say that when he felt himself weak and felt like sinking under the accumulation of many trials, he has found his strength according to his day, and felt an arm of power supporting him? It is then that the Redeemer manifests Himself in a special manner; and then that the excellency of the religion of Christ is truly seen and its power appreciated and felt. When we find ourselves weak or weakened, we often find ourselves strengthened by the Holy Spirit. It lifts us up, enabling us to continue on doing what God would have us do when we know we did not have the strength to accomplish whatever He has for us to do at the time.
Why the delight in the weaknesses become clearer as it is at those time when the Holy Spirit imparted strength to Paul as He does for us to this very day. The more we are weighted down with one trial after another, the more we become aware of God’s divine grace in our ability to deal with the trials. Consider also what Paul wrote in Romans 5:3-6 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. When we were powerless we were still sinners caught up in the world with the values of the world in rebellion against God. But two short verses later we read these wonderful words: But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Or as we read in Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost and we were truly lost.
Being made aware of these things, we can understand how Paul delighted in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties because he too was one of the lost and Jesus did indeed find him and save him. It is the same for each and every one of us as we too were lost. Further each of us knows the times when we were to weak to defeat a sin in our lives and then through the Holy Spirit became strong enough to do so or in Paul’s words once again For when I am weak, then I am strong.
It’s Monday, enjoy the week knowing I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 NKJV).
Riley D. Driver-Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton