Our natural reaction to problems is to reject them. When given a choice of riches or poverty, we choose poverty. When given a choice of more or less, we choose more. When given a choice of strength or weakness, we choose strength.
But what if you could have greater riches by choosing poverty? What if you could have more by choosing less? What if you could have better health by being sick? What if you could have strength by choosing weakness?
Maybe you are given a people problem so you could have a better relationship. Maybe God has allowed this issue to arise so that He could make the relationship better. Maybe the weakness in your relationship is really a strength in disguise.
This has been Paul’s experience of his troubles. God had something better in store. The more problems he had the more blessings he received.
Paul received a Vision.
“I knew a man in Christ …..caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.” (2 Corinthians 12:3-6)
Paul had received an extraordinary revelation. But even in his wording you can tell he hesitates to talk about it. Rather than focus on things on earth, Paul focused on what the result would be in heaven.
Paul received a Problem.
“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)
So Paul would not become proud in his visions and revelations, God allowed Satan to give him a “thorn in the flesh.” Three times he asked God to remove it. But God’s answer was “My grace is enough.”
It’s good that we don’t know what the “thorn in the flesh” was because it allows a broad application to the afflictions that God permits in our life. God’s grace helps us endure the affliction. God’s grace also helps us appreciate the affliction because it builds strength in us. Paul took pleasure and even boasted in His problems because they brought the blessing of God on his life.
Rather than complain about his weaknesses, Paul chose to glory in his weakness. He chose to take pleasure in his problems. That’s a difficult attitude to cultivate. But if we focus on what our hard times are building in us, we may have a more positive attitude when going through difficult times.
Through the example of Paul, we are reminded what our weakness can reveal in and through us:
1 – Our Weakness reveals God’s glory.
2 – Our Weakness reveals God’s grace.
3 – Our Weakness reveals God’s strength.
4 – Our Weakness reveals God’s wisdom.
Below is a wonderful poem that may help you discover strength in your weakness.
I asked for health that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked God for strength that I might achieve;
I was made weak that I might learn to obey.
I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power and the praise of men;
I was given weakness to sense my need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing I asked for but everything I hoped for;
In spite of myself, my prayers were answered-
I am among all men most richly blest.