(From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
God’s grace and power are best displayed in our weakness.
I will live with the assurance that God will give me the grace and
strength I need for every situation.
Learn to be content when facing difficulty, knowing God will use it
for His glory and my good.
of weakness were made strong—Hebrews 11:34
is one of many weaknesses, but Psalm 39:7 CSB - Now,
Lord, what do I wait for? My
hope is in you.
bitter times? We can find our hope in God as Jeremiah did:
Lamentations 3:14-25 GNB People
laugh at me all day long; I am a joke to them all. 15 Bitter
suffering is all he has given me for food and drink. 16 He rubbed
my face in the ground and broke my teeth on rocks. 17 I have
forgotten what health and peace and happiness are. 18 I do not have
much longer to live; my hope in the LORD is gone. 19 The thought of
my pain, my homelessness, is bitter poison. 20 I think of it
constantly, and my spirit is depressed. 21 Yet hope returns when I
remember this one thing: 22 The LORD's unfailing love and mercy
still continue, 23 Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.
24 The LORD is all I have, and so in him I put my hope. 25 The
LORD is good to everyone who trusts in him.
to our Scriptures:
Paul has listed in 2 Corinthians 11 the many sufferings he has
experienced because he preached the Gospel.
Now he advances some of the great blessings God has given
him—revelations, that is, messages from God.
He has reason to brag about how he great he is, but…
He rejoices in his weaknesses.
What a strange thing it is to boast in weaknesses.
What is his most grievous weakness? (2 Corinthians 12:7).
God allowed what to pester and cause trouble? Really?
What is the main danger of pride in a Christian?
Many have proposed physical ailments, but discuss the many
possibilities this thorn could have been. Remember it could be
physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, etc.
Who is the messenger of satan? Can satan afflict us? Job 1:6-12 CSB -
day the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and
Satan also came with them. The LORD asked Satan, "Where have you
come from? " "From roaming through the earth," Satan
answered him, "and walking around on it." Then the LORD
said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? No one else
on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and
turns away from evil." Satan answered the LORD, "Does Job
fear God for nothing? "Haven't you placed a hedge around him,
his household, and everything he owns? You have blessed the work of
his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. "But
stretch out your hand and strike everything he owns, and he will
surely curse you to your face." "Very well," the LORD
told Satan, "everything he owns is in your power. However, do
not lay a hand on Job himself." So Satan left the LORD's
The word for torment in 2 Corinthians 12:7 is κολαφίζω
kolaphizō and means to hit with the fist.
Here are some of the verses that use this word:
Matthew 26:67 CSB - Then
they spat in his face and beat
him; others slapped him.
1 Peter 2:20 CSB - For
what credit is there if when you do wrong and are beaten,
you endure it? But when you do what is good and suffer, if you endure
it, this brings favor with God.
Have you ever felt that satan was punching you around over and over?
How would something like this keep anyone from getting proud?
Isn’t the Christian life supposed to be perfect, peaceful, happy
all the time?
Paul prayed 3 times to be relieved of this pain. Why was God’s
What was God’s answer? “But
his answer was: "’My grace is all you need, for my power is
greatest when you are weak.’"
Are you weak?
How will God’s grace help you?
Remember there is no relief from this suffering, just God’s grace
given in love to help.
So how can we deal with illness, sorrow, loneliness, hopelessness,
etc. and etc.?
Remember, also, that this is what God told PAUL. It does not mean
that it is to every situation or to every person.
If we are being chastened by God for a known sin, we must repent and
ask His forgiveness.
If we are unaware of unconfessed and unforsaken sin, then perhaps it
is a trial that God allows.
Perhaps, you have made a bad choice and now suffer the consequences,
or perhaps, someone else has made a bad choice with the resulting
consequences affecting you or me. But God’s grace WILL be with you
How do we boast about our weaknesses?
How do we find contentment? Paul faced weaknesses,
insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties.
Some commentators and translators understand the phrase taking
pleasure in (εὐδοκέω
eudokeō) to be contentment. Here are some pointers on contentment
from the Apostle Paul:
Philippians 4:11 NKJV Not
that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state
I am, to be content.
Note the word learned.
How do we learn contentment?
Being content with what we have is a thing to be learned by the
Christian. To learn something, we must experience it. Learning takes
time and practice. God knows what He is doing. While we are learning,
His grace will help us through the process (Philippians 4:13).
Hebrews 5:8 NKJV [Jesus] though
He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He
As God, Jesus knew all things, but He had not experienced being a
man. I might understand a lot about my dog, but I have never been a
dog to experience everything a dog does or thinks. Jesus learned the
experience does NOT mean He was ignorant of being a human.
Being thankful for what we have is very important. God helps us. How
does being thankful help us to be content? Remember, Paul was writing
this letter from prison.
Being content does NOT mean we are to stop learning Scripture, living
a godly life, or learning truth, for we want treasure in heaven.
Matthew 6:19-21 WPNT Do
not lay up for yourselves treasures on the earth, where moth and rust
ruin and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves
treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust ruins and where
thieves neither break in nor steal; because where your treasure is
there your heart will be also.