2 Corinthians 12:1–10
I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. 5 I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:1–10, NIV)
“This saint that we tend to idolize in the church (Paul), even he had issues. Even he begged the Lord for things to change. Paul was desparate. Maybe it’s OK for me to be desparate too.”
What reasons do we typically think are good reasons to boast? What are some of your accomplishments that you might want to boast about?
We are never told what Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” is, but we get some idea of how it helped Paul’s ministry. How have you found problems in your life to actually help you do a better job of trusting in and sharing about Jesus?
In what ways have you trusted in God’s grace to be sufficient?