July 9, 2018
2 Corinthians 12:2-10 New Living Translation (NLT)
The Apostle Paul consistently instructs the Corinthian church about staying focused on the path of God; to follow Jesus in spite of the hard places and difficult people. In our passage, today, Paul shares about having a very mysterious encounter with God. It is off the charts amazing, but even with that mountain top experience he continues to face other human challenges. When we experience difficult times and people, God is still ready to reveal wonderful mysteries about his love and plans for us.
Paul calls his difficulty a thorn in the flesh. Many theologians believe that thorn had something to do with getting along with difficult people. Yet, God used the challenge to keep Paul humble and reliant on grace. Give God your challenges and ask him for an abundance of grace; it’s more than enough to cover every weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:2-10
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 know 4 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.
Prayer: Lord, your grace is enough for me; thank you for providing grace to cover my weakness. I need your work of grace every day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.