Praying for Relief . . .Trusting God's response
Staying humble in the midst of greatness. 2 Corinthians 12:1-7a
- Visions and revelations were becoming quite common in Paul’s life and people noticed.
- His boasting was to draw attention to the Lord’s manifested power, not to gain for himself. (1a)
- He credits them to being from the Lord. (1b)
- He deflects celebrating his own visions and revelations and even withheld one from others for 14 years.
- As a man in Christ, Paul had an experience that gave him audience to hear and see heaven. (4)
- Paul was not able to identify his own personal state (physical or spiritual) at the time. (3)
- Acknowledges that much of it will remain unshared. (4b)
- Paul will only boast about his weaknesses and the amazing work of God. (5)
- He could boast truthfully about his personal successes of God working through him.
- He chooses not to boast of himself for the purpose of helping others keep an appropriate view of him as a man saved by grace in spite of impressive revelations that come from God. (6b-7a)
Experiencing hardship so that God is glorified. 2 Corinthians 12:7b-10
- Paul’s “thorn” was to keep him humbly dependent. (7b)
- Paul prayed and pleaded three times to have it removed. (8)
- God’s response: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (9)
- His grace is enough—God was giving him revelations, visions, incredible impact upon others. Not to mention that God spared him from himself on the road to Damascus.
- With the “thorn” keeping Paul humbled and dependent, God’s power was more evident as the source of all that was being accomplished through Paul.
- God wants to be seen by you and others as the source of your life’s accomplishments.
- A humble heart is where God does his greatest work.
- See the grace in the difficulties of life and let the power of God be displayed through you.
- Trust God’s response—he knows what he is doing!
2 Corinthians is a letter between Paul and a church that had a fractured relationship. He addresses many relational and deep personal issues that get below the surface and deal with heart of the matter. This book is such a good model on navigating challenging personal and relational issues!