“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.”
2 Corinthians 12:7 (NIV)
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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.
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 12:8-10 (NIV)
A fine person of my acquaintance requires rather thick corrective lenses in his eye glasses. I marvel at his ability to fumble around his bedroom in the morning trying to find his glasses. As an absent minded person, he sometimes lays the glasses down in a different place when retiring for the night. When he wakes in the morning he has to stumble around until he finds the glasses and puts them on.
If we are in a restaurant ordering a meal from the menu, it would be useless for him to try and read the menu using my eye glasses. I only need minimal corrective lenses and he requires very strong lenses. Using my glasses, he would be out of focus and unable to see anything as it is.
As we look at difficult situations in life we need the corrective lenses of God’s Word—the Bible—in order to see clearly what is going on in our lives.
In the life of the apostle Paul, there was a problem that arose because of the extraordinary blessings he received from the Lord by way of visions and messages too wonderful for words. The problem was that Paul was at risk of conceit because of the unusual experiences he had that others were denied.
Therefore God allowed Satan to give Paul some unnamed physical limitation. Wisely Paul did not name his physical problem. Now anyone who has a physical handicap of any kind can read the wisdom of Paul and accept their difficulty more readily.
What Paul learned—through the problem sent to him—was that God’s grace is really amazing. Had Paul not suffered as he did, he would never have been able to experience the tremendous worth of God’s grace.
Paul’s spiritual vision was out of focus prior to the onset of his problem. He was spiritually immature enough to think he really needed to be healed. But as he started living with the problem he discovered that when he was weak he was truly strong.
So the great apostle became glad for his limitations, because it was then that he experienced the abundance of God’s grace in his life. Paul started to rejoice in his weakness because the remarkable strength of the Lord empowered him to succeed in his work for Jesus.
Is your spiritual vision out of focus? Do you not yet see the exceedingly great grace of God that is surrounding you in your time of trouble? Bring this Scripture to the Lord in prayer and call on Him to be faithful to you as He was to Paul. Remember that your Father in heaven loves to hear your prayers and He is listening right now for you to draw near. Come to Him and come now.