2 Corinthians 12:10 (AMP)
So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak (in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength).
I am well pleased. Am I? I take pleasure in my infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and/or distress. Not really. I am weak. Yes, I am most definitely weak but that makes me truly strong according to God’s Ability, Power and Strength working on the inside of me. Convinced? Me either. The longer I follow Jesus Christ the less I believe that I will ever get this thing called “faith” right. The more I seek to do the Will of God His Way in His Power according to His Word, the more I seem to fail time and time again. People say don’t pray for patience. Too late, I already did. Guess what? I am still impatient. I guess my words reflect the philosophical ranting of Paul when he relented that no matter how he tried to do what was right, he ended up doing something wrong. (Romans 7:15) When will God’s Grace be sufficient? What will it be enough?
2 Corinthians 12:8 (AMP)
Three times I called upon the Lord and besought [Him] about this and begged that it might depart from me…
This should probably come with a warning that this word for today is not for the casual believer who is not looking for more than just enough grace to make it past Jesus into Heaven. You will not understand the burden of those who seek to live in rightstanding with the Lord. It will make no sense to patiently wait for the Will of God so do not worry yourself with the details of grace and faith if you have no intention of seeking the fulfillment of God in Jesus Christ. It will a frustrating endeavor that will require painstaking choices, difficult decisions and a made-up mind. But for those who truly desire to be an intentional Christian unwilling to settle for the enemy’s substitutes for less than God’s Best – this word is for you. Those of you who are about to give up because it seems the wait is too long with weak knees and a heavy heart – keep reading. If you are looking for the sufficiency of God’s Grace to bring you peace, joy and satisfaction then get ready because you are about to become effective in your faith and receive the resurrection power found only in His Grace.
Three times I called on the Lord and “besought” Him about this and begged that “IT” might depart from me. Besought is to beg with urgency. What have you been pleading with the Lord about? What consumes your thoughts? What is your burden too heavy to bear? Where do you need the most faith to survive? This is “IT”. What is it in my life and yours may be very different but both bear significance and relevance in the Kingdom of God because this will be the source of your blessing. It is the place of endurance where faith is born. It was not put in your life to kill you but make you stronger by defeating your personal power to release God’s Supernatural Strength.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (AMP)
But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!
After my grandfather died, my grandmother did not know what do with herself. They had been married for 70 years so she really did not remember life before him and could not seem to resume her life after he went to be with Jesus. As depression began to overtake this usually vibrant and active woman of God, she would spend each day rocking in a chair just looking out the window. One day while visiting Gram, we began to talk about her life now. She said, “I have asked the Lord every day to take me home to be with Him and your grandfather” with her gaze never leaving the window. I responded, “Well, Gram the Lord has answered you.” Abruptly shaken from her daydreams, she looked at me almost startled and asked, “What did He say?” “Gram, He said “NO” and that’s why He wakes you up each morning because you have something to do so it would seem to me the only way to get what you want is to do what the Lord wants.” Well, after we both had a good laugh, my grandmother got up out of that chair and began to live again until the Lord was ready to take her home. But He said to me…the Lord said, “No” when his servant was asked to be released from his infirmity. He didn’t just pray a frivolous five-second “help-me-Jesus” prayer but he had begged the Lord for help. What kind of loving, father-like God would ignore the cries of His Precious Child? The very one that is going to shower His Child with favor (unfair partiality), loving-kindness (unconditional love), and mercy (compassion that does not give us what we deserve). We settle for less than God’s Best because we do not have enough faith in the resurrection power of God that is reserved for us – His People. Instead, we seek the safety of what seems fair, likable, and deserved. This is not what the Lord died for us to have and is an insult to His Suffering. However, by releasing expectation according to self-evaluation and grabbing hold of God’s Supernatural Intentions for my life allows me to be made perfect in His Power. Perfection is not based on human perception but on the fulfillment and completion of my faith that allows me to share the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. (James 1:3-4) I can do it “manfully” because that’s exactly how Jesus did it. (Hebrews 5:2)
The word “therefore” marks a place of decision in the man named Paul. It is when he decided that no matter what was going on in his human life that he would embrace the Power of the Living God working on the inside of him. This is so very important because it is a determination to live by faith. Faith makes it possible for ordinary people to please God. (Hebrews 11:6) Without it, it is impossible to please God. So just as the body is dead without good works, your spirit man is dead without faith. (James 2:26) The only thing to bring it to life again is the resurrection power of God through Jesus Christ including His Grace which is His Favor, Loving-kindness and Mercy all at work in your life.
Isaiah 53:4-6 (NLT)
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.
Please understand no matter what you endure in the name of faith in your lifetime, you will never go to the extent of suffering that Jesus Christ did to save your soul. He was a righteous man. He never sinned. No matter how much of our life that we choose to surrender to Jesus Christ even to the point of martyrdom, we still can never equal what Jesus Christ endured for each one of us. With this in mind, He carried our weakness. If this is the case and the Bible is true (which it is) that means that when we take on our own weaknesses that we pull them off the shoulders of Jesus Christ and maintain them once more. It is a form of rebellion and pride that makes us think we are better able to do so but faith takes the weight of our weaknesses and gives them back to Jesus seeking His Fulfillment. All human weakness was overcome by Jesus Christ. (John 16:33) Jesus finished the task of fulfillment by His Grace making it sufficient in all things. Complete and lacking nothing it can save our soul granting us God’s unfair partiality, unconditional love, and undeserved compassion. (Isaiah 53:11) If Jesus did something for us that we could not do for ourselves, what makes us think that we can do it anything right outside of His Power and Grace? We can’t. We tried. We failed. Why do people insist of repeating the same cycle over and over never leaving our problems at the Throne of Grace and seeking to endure as the Lord perfects and completes His Best for our life?
Romans 6:19 (NLT)
Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy.
The problem with human nature is that is struggles with boundaries. We have freedom but choose to live in the captivity of comfort and complacency. We know that all things are permissible but not all things are beneficial. (I Corinthians 10:23) So rather than returning to sin and darkness, we must become slaves of righteousness to save us from ourselves. I know my limitations. I know the things that rob me of my time, talent and treasure so I avoid them. But when I do give in just a little, I find that I am overtaken altogether. Human nature is driven by weakness. Our weakness makes it impossible for us to live righteously without God’s Word and His Spirit. God remembers our weaknesses vividly. (Psalm 136:23) Your sin reminds God of the nails driven into the Hands and Feet of His Precious Son. He sees His Blood running down the Cross. It is that Blood that allows God to see you past your sin. We must live in the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ to not be overcome by sin and shame once more as our flesh fights to return the old way of living outside of Jesus. It longs to be gratified and stimulated all in the name of grace and freedom. Freedom is not an excuse to trample the Grace of God or sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. His Grace is sufficient but should not ever be taken for granted. It is a way of life of those who choose righteousness and live in “therefore”.
Romans 8:1-3 (NLT)
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
It is time for men and women of God to release the crutch of a sinful nature and embrace the freedom of His Grace to do the Will of God in spite of ourselves. His Grace is sufficient. It is necessary. It is enough. You have asked, begged, pleaded and bargained for God to remove “IT” from your life. His answer is “NO”. Now what are you going to do? When the going gets tough most people race for their comfort zone to weather the storm, if you are not comfortable in the Presence of God by faith and living a life that demonstrates a commit to Jesus Christ watch out – things are about to get rough. But for those who have received the Resurrection Power of God through Jesus Christ and are filled with His Spirit working the Word, following His Way and doing His Will – you are about to be complete and lacking no good thing! You have overcome the world, now God is going to show you His Favor, Love and Mercy as He completes you from the inside out!
2 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NLT)
Although he was crucified in weakness, he now lives by the power of God. We, too, are weak, just as Christ was, but when we deal with you we will be alive with him and will have God’s power. Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.
It is gut-check time my friend. It is time to see what is on the inside of you. Is the same power that brought Jesus Christ back from the dead alive in you? Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. You can make me believe that it is but that really will not do much for you in the midst of a trial. What matters is what you believe? Does this power exist inside of you? “By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Women received their loved ones back again from death. But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection.” (Hebrews 11:33-35) Do you have faith that has produced confident hope that there is a better life AFTER the resurrection creating an enduring heart that will not give up until it comes? Genuine faith will produce confident hope. It will give you the patience to endure any trial by His Grace until His Favor, Loving Kindness and Mercy arrive. You will be filled with peace and joy when it makes it to you no matter where you are or what you are going through! Patient endurance allows us to continue to do God’s Will in the midst of opposition because we desire after-resurrection faith! Is that you today? Well, I have news for you – His Grace is sufficient for you! His Strength and Power and most effective in your weakness! Be glad! The Resurrection Power of the God lives on the inside of you! You have enough grace!
Hebrews 10:36 (NLT)
Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.