Power Perfect in Weakness
“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 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 12:7b–10 NIV
The Bible is replete with examples of personal perseverance and overcoming adversity against all odds and becoming individuals of power, authority, and greatness by the hand of God. Moses overcame his stammering speech to become a powerful leader of a new nation; Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers, became a powerful administrative official over all of Egypt; Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) survived the blazing fiery furnace to bring glory unto their God; and Daniel survived the lion’s den when God closed shut the lion’s mouths. And on the stories go.
Oh! And there was that certain New Testament individual named Paul who overcame just a little to bring forth the Gospel to the Gentile world:
“I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” 2 Corinthians 11:23d–27 NIV
We all have trials, tribulations, and trauma in our lives to overcome, but take heart and know that it does not escape the watchful eye of God and that He has greater things prepared for you. Persevere. We are ordinary people being prepared for an extraordinary destiny.
“Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” 2 Corinthians 6:4–10 NIV