– Second Corinthians 12:10 – “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.”


” ‘I am well content’ -(eudokeo from eu = good, well + dokeo = to think ; literally  meansto think good, and so to be pleased or delighted. “The present tense emphasizes that taking pleasure in variegated {different colors} negative circumstances was Paul’s continual mindset. The adverse circumstances did not deter him from “taking pleasure” (not of course in a masochistic way but with an understanding of what these circumstances were producing)…The idea is to find satisfaction in something or someone or to view with approval.”.:-{preceptaustin} 

Weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, calamities, are strong words…

1.-“WEAKNESSES”  – {astheneia}“means, without strength or bodily vigor = want of strength = lacking strength. Literally refers to bodily diseases or ailments …incapacity to do or experience something, an inability to produce results, a state of weakness or limitation.” – (Read  1 Co 15:432Co 11:3012:591013:4 }

2. – “INSULTS”- It refers to treatment which is deliberate and calculated to publicly openly insult and humiliate the person to shame them! It is calculated and through words even violence to cause and INFLICT  so that they would experience and feel shame!  It describes the experience of rude and disrespectful behavior, shame, insult or mistreatment. Paul experienced this.

3. DISTRESSES” {angke} -…It’s the idea of trouble, distress or hardship…to describe difficult circumstances that come on a person with a compelling force… the word  usually refers to outward calamities or distresses.

Piper defines distresses (hardships) as… circumstances forced upon you, reversals of fortune against your will. This could refer to any situation where you feel trapped. You didn’t plan it or think it would be this way. But there you are, and it’s hard.” – Paul experiences this. {Matt 18:7;Luke 14:18, Rom 13;5; 1 Cor 7:26; Heb 7:12,27, Jude 1:3.}

4. – “PERSECUTIONS” -{diogmosis}- “literally describes pursuit, a chase or a putting to flight and thus conveys ideas such as harassment, oppression, persecution. It can be a program or process designed to harass and oppress someone. It can be a program which is systematically organized to oppress and harass others. “Diogmosis,” often used of used of hunters tracking their prey!”-{preceptaustin}. Paul experienced this…when the Judaizers did so.

5. – “DIFFICULTIES” {Stenochoria }- “is literally a narrow place, a narrow, tight or confined space and then the painfulness of associated with this conditionAnguish, torturing confinement, hemmed in with no way out. It could be  used of an army who were  caught in a narrow, rocky defile with space and who could not maneuver nor escape. It also could be used of a ship caught in a storm with no room either to ride it or to run before it. it could be said of a person when it seems the walls of life are closing around him.Paul experienced this!

What suffering, opposition and evil Paul experienced, yet he is “content WITH…” How or why? “FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!” His motivation and what enabled him to ENDURE through it all was not by gritting his teeth or pretending it wasn’t difficult or painful but because of a PERSON he could.  And that with contentment, delight, pleased, satisfaction… “FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST!” There is nothing virtuous in suffering for suffering sake. Christ MAKES the Difference amidst the hard times and suffering! Paul delighted, was satisfied in his suffering because of his association with Jesus Christ. Not delighting or finding pleasure in cruel, unfair treatment for suffering sake, but because of who he was suffering for, namely the Lord Jesus Christ!  and the benefit of His strengthening grace, power to do so! And he was delighted, content, satisfied, took pleasure,”For Christ sake!” 

Adam Clarke paraphrases this verse…”I not only endure them patiently, but am pleased when they occur; for I do it for Christ’s sake-on His account; for on His account I suffer.”

Christ HIMSELF, enabled him in the many painful trials and difficulties to be content! His motivation for enduring such pain and mistreatment, was “For Christ’s sake.” Paul wrote to Timothy, “For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.”-{2 Timothy 2:10}. He suffered as can be seen in 2 Cor 10 can see, and in it all he had a reason to continue on, “For Christ’s sake and …for the sake of  those who are chosen.” Perspective in pain was to do it all “For Christ SAKE,” and the benefit of others, “…for Christ sake!”

Paul had been told that The LORD would not remove the “Thorn,” from him. The word was used of a wooden stake that was used to torture or impale someone! It was painful! He had asked three times for it to be removed and  was denied for the LORD has that right and did not leave him without the ability to handle it and not somehow but triumphantly with the assurance, “My grace is Sufficient for you.” -{v9}. The word “sufficient,” means “enough” with the implication of “satisfied.” And with it comes acceptance but also glorying in the fact that when he is weak ….it qualifies him to be strong in the LORD! And with it the exclamation of him being, “…WELL CONTENT…” and that for Christ’s sake who had saved him, sustaining him through sufficient grace and imparting the wisdom that when he was weak, it was not the end but was a means to be strengthened by Christ and so whatever he faced, in light of Who He is, and how He has and is meeting him, he can say he does it all “For Christ sake…”

Yes it was tough for Paul, suffering unfairly, inhumanely and for doing right! He kept the suicidal jailor alive and shared with him and his family were rescued from spiritual death to eternal life! Peter and the apostles also suffered and we read, “…So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.”-{Acts 5:41}. Paul, Peter and others SUFFERED “For Christ SAKE,” and Gloried, rejoiced in Him despite suffering greatly! Jesus Christ makes the difference!

It is possible to be in or experience suffering and in the midst be content!

“Build your life on God Him-self and your soul will be satisfied. David was in a barren desert, with enemies seeking his life. But because he sought God, he wrote,” My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips. “-{Psalm 63:5}

 Where was God when Stephen was being stoned? “he said,… “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”-{Acts 7:56}. Where is he in the times of suffering, difficulties? “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.”-{Psalm 91:15}. He is watching and with us in such times.

Paul testified in his own time of suffering that His grace is sufficient to give contentment in times of great stress and suffering, such is the power of the Grace of Christ for His people. To “THINK” about why you are going through this, and Who you are doing it for! Suffering? Yes! Content well pleased, delighted with Christ and can endure it, “for Christ sake!”

“…For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

“WEAK”-{asthene from asthenes} means , without strength, powerless, feeble in any sense, to be diseased, impotent, sick, lack strength, infirm, to be weak,

“I AM” {eimi}- is in the present tense, Paul is and remains strong in the LORD. SAMSON had the power of the Spirit of God come upon him and he became strong, but there came a time when he was weak…compared to Paul is continually strong in the Lord.

“STRONG”-{Dunato from dunamai}} inherent power and resources. The words deriving from the stem “duna” have the meaning of “being able”, the “capacity” in virtue and an ability. It is to have the ability, capacity to be able to do something, having sufficient power, skill, resources to accomplish what is needed.

Some of us are too “strong” to be used. “Strong” in arrogance, “strong” in self-confidence, self – reliance, and failing to realize how dependent we are on Him for everything – apart from Him we can do nothing. We are dependent creatures, dependent upon air to breathe, the capacity  for our bodies to function so as we can breathe. We are totally dependent upon Him to save us, sustain and empower us  -{Read John 15:4}. But it is a glorious day when we realize that weakness in HIS HANDS is a good thing, it unleashes His power. It is a good day when we realize how weak, impotent we are apart from Him. He takes the weak and makes them strong in Him, by His Spirit! -{Read Phil 2:13 NLT; Phil 4:19; 2 Peter 1:3}

And note in his weakness, something happens he realizes, “when I am weak then I am strong!” His grace strengthens him. His human Weakness and the realization and testimony to the reality of it was the entrance into the realization his weakness in the hands of Christ was the means to his experiencing His strength! Paul wrote in 2 Cor 1:9 “.. this happened that we should not rely on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.”- Self reliance is a hindrance to experiencing His power. God dependence unleashes God’s power for us! “Well content…for Christ sake…when I am weak then I am strong.” Strengthened by Him!

Paul Testifies about his Pain.

He Testifies about the LORD’S Provision.

He Testifies about the Person– The LORD Jesus to those whom he writes to, and generations later,  you and me also!

We too can learn from him in whom and what we Testify to in our own pain, and what to know, Who to know, and we too can be…

“Well Content…For Christ sake!”

Contentment enabled by a noble, high view of  Jesus Christ, and doing it all, “For Christ’s Sake.”