Devotional: ‘I Need Strength’

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It may surprise you to know that one of the strongest Christians who has ever lived, was in fact a weak man.

“…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.  Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.  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.  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. (2 Cor 12:7-10)

Paul doesn’t tell us what his thorn in the flesh was, but rather why God allowed him to have it  – “…to keep me from becoming proud…” Self-sufficiency has no part in the kingdom of God.  God doesn’t want self-sufficient pastors, Sunday School teachers, or nursery workers. It brings Him no pleasure to see self-sufficient choir members, praise team leaders, or youth workers. Self-sufficiency is closely related to pride and the Bible says that the Lord resists those who are proud. His pleasure is to give grace to the humble.

To keep the Apostle Paul from becoming self-sufficient and proud, the Lord gave him a ‘thorn in the flesh.’ Like most of us, Paul at first resisted his thorn and saw it as something to hurt him; yet it was in those moments of weakness that the Lord was able to make him a great spiritual leader.  “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Everyone has moments of weakness and what we do with those moments determines our success as a believer.  In times of weakness we can either run and hide, cave in and quit, or go to the Lord and seek His help.  Will He help us?  2 Chronicles 16:9 says – The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

This very day the Lord is searching for weak people who need His help.  Awaiting such people is an unimaginable amount of His spiritual strength.  Are you one of those lucky individuals?

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