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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Sometimes as a Christian leader (or even a Christian), it is confusing to be believe in God when it seems as though your whole world is crashing around you. Because it appears as though He has not doing anything for us. Then it becomes easy to forget everything that God has provided for us in the past. But in the scripture that introduced this post, the Apostle Paul writes to the church in Corinth that he had a thorn in the flesh (2 Cor. 12:7). There has been many debate throughout the millenia what this thorn was, most people see it as a metaphorical thorn, but about what it is uncertain*.
What many do conclude is that it had a strain on Paul and I could imagine that when he was in that state he very much wanted it to be gone whatever it may have been. That it would have defected him from his ministry, but Christ told him as it says “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” to which Paul then boasts about the hardships that he is going through.
For Christians in the 21st century, it is rather hard to talk about your problems nevermind boasting about them. I remember reading this UCB article in ‘The Word 4 U Today’ (It was the really hip one that all the cool kids read) that people could maintain what they called “Church Face”, where you come in to church looking like everything is fine. You’re smiling, you say hello to everyone but inside you are struggling with whatever it may be. That is Church Face, as far as I’m aware there isn’t no Old Testament law that states we should be pretend to be okay when we’re not. Jesus doesn’t tell us to hide away our problems and come as a shiny Christian. No, Jesus tells us to come as we are, with all of our problems, all of our needs and with all the thorns that are stuck deep in our flesh, he says to us also “I am enough, when you’re not good, I work.” We can go the cross, with everything that holds us back and give it to Jesus.
Then we can boast about the things that’s holding us back, because then we can see that God is going to work through that, He is going to overcome all of those problems, a new season will come and the chains that are right now holding us back will be broken. Now I don’t want to be that guy and say eventually problems will come again, brand new situations which you have not dealt with before and you don’t know how to respond, and I would love to say that it will be all sunshine and rainbows. But I’m going to be that guy, because that guy speaks the truth. Life is hard, it’s never easy and it’s always complicated.
But Christ’s grace on us is not finite, it is unlimited, it never runs out, it is sufficient.
Be blessed guys, next post should be soonish (hopefully).
*Some studies show that the thorn is representing persecution and events that happened to Paul after his conversion, like being imprisoned (Acts 16:23, and many more times), getting shipwrecked (Acts 27:27-28:5), being beaten to near death (Acts 14:19) and many more. Or it could possibly be a denoting temptation to unbelief, as Martin Luther and John Calvin have suggested during their ministries.