2 Corinthians 12:7-10 used to annoy me. Especially verses 9-10: "and He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
Seriously?!? Who wants to boast in their infirmities? Personally, I HATE pain. I HATE warfare. Both make me feel weak and not in control: two things I am not a fan of. But then again, who is?
Today as I read this passage, a deeper understanding touched my soul. This week I have been plagued with an unsettling in my spirit. It shakes me to the core of my faith and belief and knowledge of who God is. I have prayed, cried, pleaded, fasted and done everything I know to do to combat it. Each time I was filled with peace but the turmoil remained. As I was listening to a teaching this morning, I had a revelation about the pain: if what I am walking into was easy, how would God get the glory? In my weakness and pain I am forced to rely on God's strength and trust Him fully. It's awesome to teach people what the Bible says about God, but what speaks the most is when I can speak of who He is from His word and then back it up with experience. So even though He is working something out in me, it's not all about me.
Mere moments after this revelation I turned to 2 Corinthians 1:4: "who (speaking of God) comforts us in all our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." As I meditated on this, the verse in chapter 12 rang in my head again, "and He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." I suddenly understood why Paul would "boast" in his sufferings. God was keeping Paul humble because God works through humility. If Paul was able to endure the afflictions on his own, his flesh may have tried to take the credit. This is pride. In 1 Peter 5:5 it says: "God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble." God HATES pride. I'm talkingabout the pride that says, "Look at what I did all byMYSELF!"
So at this point we need to ask ourselves: if we were able to just walk into the promises of God with no issues would we be tempted to think "Well!! Look at MY faith! It's so strong!"? The truthful answer is: Quite possibly. It’s in these moments when we must realize, that our faith can be quite weak as we tend to lean on our own understanding and many times on the things that we can see. At times when the enemy comes at us, we have to fight the urge not to run the other way and give up. It’s in these moments that we find that it is indeed through His strength that we can do anything. So, we can boast in our weaknesses because it's through our weakness that God's strength shines through. The struggle is real but so is our God. Our pain is great but our God is greater. Our addictions may have us in chains but we know The Name that breaks them. We can rest because Jesus paid it all.