“WHEN I AM WEAK I AM STRONG” -{2 Cor 12:10}.

Think about what makes a person strong? Independence, a self-made person, strong minded, financially secure? Top of their “field,” athletically, academically smart? Whom or what is it that makes us so say, what we value as strength in someone?

Recently someone called me and in our conversation about Paul and the “thorn” he remarked in a quiet reverential tone toward Paul. “Paul was a tough old dude.” I said to him, “NO,HE WASN’T!” Paul was not tough like some imaginary “super hero.” The passage gives us something of Paul’s auto-biography, in which he tells us his strength was the realization of how weak he was, and where his true strength came from. When the pain came he turned to the Person- the Lord Jesus to speak to Him about it.“…concerning this {the thorn} I implored the LORD Three times that it might leave me.” Note with the pain he immediately sought out not one of his companions, there was no “rebuking” the devil, he immediately went to the source of his life, his love- he took his situation to JESUS. He turned and spoke to the Lord Jesus, he knew He had the power to deliver him from his pain. Think about it, when things, tough times come, where do you turn to or whom do you turn to?

Paul was not a “strong man,” he was a DEPENDENT man, whose strength came through the LORD Jesus. Paul did not see his “thorn,” his weakness as a disqualification from effective service but a vehicle where the grace, power of Jesus Christ was manifested through his weakness.

Think about it we are all weak. We are dependent on someone outside of us to sustain us with life. And yet we will not trust Him because the blindness and deception of pride convinces us we do not really need Him, we can handle it and if we really need Him we will as it were whistle for Him , as you would a dog! Our consciousness of frailty should cause us to seek out Him who is the ONE who is sufficient for us, who has no weakness in Him. Weakness reminds us we are needy, needy people! But in Christ we have a wonderful Lord to lean on!

Who made Paul weak? God did! {v7}.

He was not punishing him with the “thorn,” but using it to keep him from spiritual pride and produce greater dependence in him to trust the LORD and the benefits were knowing the Lord Jesus more intimately,


power in weakness! {v9},

contentment,{v10}. Paul’s  contentment was not the absence of troubles, but included, “weaknesses, insults, difficulties, distresses, persecutions, difficulties.”{v10} He was “well content with {them}…

for Christ sake!” {v10}. He did not endure pain for pain’s sake but “for CHRIST SAKE!” He was his end! His weakness was but the gateway to understanding something of suffering and God’s means in displaying power through weak vessels, and he was content, and gloried in “…for Christ’s sake!” He was not bitter but spiritually maturing and seeing things from God’s view and relating it all to Jesus. He related the “thorn” to Him in prayer. He relates the suffering and the power to be able to boast and be  content and continue on  and through it all “for Christ’s sake.”

He was weak enough so as to depend upon and derive from the LORD power that transcended the pain, to effectively minister and to know Jesus in a deeper more conscious and dependent way!

He gloried in his weakness because he knew in his weakness Christ made him strong. Jesus did not remove the “thorn.” He imparted Himself and used it to develop the man and teach him dependence, and display power to him and through him.

Been weakened enough from self sufficiency is often the beginning  of deeper intimacy with the Lord Jesus and experiencing and manifesting  His power through weakness. Are you weak enough for His power? Are you clinging on to the “if its got to be, it’s up to me” attitude or are you realizing your weakness is God’s opportunity to meet you and display Himself to and through you? Are you too strong to be used by God? Are you weak enough for God to use you?

What do you view as your greatest strength?

Mature Christians are often Christians who have suffered much and who are weak enough to be dependent upon the LORD JESUS. Spiritual strength is often shaped, formed, developed through the furnace of affliction and manifested through weak individuals.

Taking your weakness to Jesus is your greatest strength.

“When I am weak then I am strong!

Don’t Seek To Be Strong, Seek To Be Dependent!