Thought of the Day February 27, 2019 My grace is sufficient

By 10:14 AM

My Grace is sufficient.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for in weakness power reaches perfection.’ And so I willingly boast of my weaknesses instead, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I am content with weakness, mistreatment, with distress, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for when I am powerless, it is then that I am strong.” (2 Cor 12:9-10)

What was the context of this faith realization on Paul’s part? He joyfully boasts of the spiritual highs of his life and humbly acknowledges the spiritual lows. The highs were a gift and the lows were opportunities through temptations. Both came from outside of himself. The highs came from the gratuitous love of God and the lows came from an “angel of Satan” but through the permissive will of God. It was hard for him to verbally explain the visions and extraordinary revelations he experienced and he does not elaborate  what “the thorn in the flesh” was.

Listen to his own words as he relates the spiritual highs: “I know a man in Christ who, fourteen years ago, whether he was in or outside his body I cannot say, only God can say--a man who was snatched up the third heaven. I know that this man--whether in or outside his body I do not know, God knows--was snatched up to Paradise to hear words which cannot be uttered, words which no man may speak.” (2 Cor 12: 2-4) That was the high; some mystical experience given to Paul by God, not because of his own merit but as pure gift of grace.

But to ensure that the Corinthians did not think that he was above the weakness of humanity because of this spiritual experience, Paul provides the contrasting picture, the reality of life, which many more could easier relate to.  Listen again to his words: “But I refrain, lest anyone think more of me than what he sees in me or hears from my lips. As to the extraordinary revelations, in order that I might not become conceited I was given a thorn in the flesh, an angel of Satan to beat me and keep me from getting proud.” (2 Cor 12: 7-8)

(To be continued)

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