‘I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me”


And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. (2 Corinthians 12:7-8)

Paul does not tell us what his thorn in the flesh was. Some believe that it was something physical. Others believed that it was something spiritual. And there are some who have concluded what it must have been someone who tried to oppose him and his work. What his thorn was doesn’t matter. What does matter is how the Lord used his thorn to help him.

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

God gave Paul a thorn in the flesh so that he could experience more of God’s grace. Grace is often described as His unmerited favor, which provides us with salvation. As stated in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Although God’s grace is a crucial part of our salvation, it is more than that. From our passage in 2 Corinthians, we see that God’s grace is His strength that can strengthen us during our times of weakness. As Jesus told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” We should note that Jesus said His strength was made perfect in our weakness. What does it mean that it is made perfect? In this context, to be made perfect means reaching its full potential. In other words, it is only when we are at our weakest that we can experience the fullness of His grace.

Once Paul realized this, he changed his perspective concerning his problems.

Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

Paul’s problems were still problems and his thorn in the flesh continued to be painful. However, he understood that his problems did not have to overpower him. He could rely on Christ and have faith that he would be provided with the grace needed to remain strong. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul gives an illustration of how he applied these truths to his life.

“I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, (in need) and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things, I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 3:11-13)

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” That should be the motto of every Christian.

God bless you, Brethren.

* Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New King James Version.

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