2 Corinthians 12:10, "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."
I find it both interesting and contrary to human reasoning that a man could make the statement made in verse 10, yet I know it is powerfully true. Read Paul's experiences in 2 Corinthians 11:24-27 and wonder in amazement at the determination and commitment he possessed. Are you feeling sorry for yourself? If so, then you are defeated. I don't say that to be mean or unloving, I say it to help you learn this powerful truth, "...for when I am weak, then am I strong." The world is full of people seeking sympathy so they can continue to focus upon themselves rather than giving themselves in service for Christ. Life is about Christ! We all have some infirmities, necessities and distress. Notice five things Paul says He takes pleasure in:
- Infirmities - feebleness and weakness in health
- Reproaches - to be hurt by others; particularly through their words and mistreatment of you
- Necessities - this is exactly what you think, it is something necessary or needed
- Persecutions - this too is exactly what you think, it is to be persecuted
- Distresses - the idea is to be in a narrow place where escape is going to be difficult
Now, Paul took pleasure in these things not because he was crazy, but because he found when Christ was foremost in his vision and desire the Lord provided the strength necessary to cause him to always prevail and carry on for the cause of Christ "...for Christ's sake..."
Maybe the question we need to ask this morning is: "What is our opinion about the subject of need and weakness?" We need a shift in our thought life. We need to develop the very same mind set as Paul, "When I am weak, then am I strong." Weakness will drive you to your inner self, and when you admit that your need is bigger than you, then you will turn to God in prayer and guidance, and your weakness will be turned into strength from God.
What is it that you take pleasure in?
Your Friend and His,
Pastor Mike Abbott