. . . My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. II Corinthians 12:9-10
We all have our strengths. Some are creative; some intelligent. Some are physically strong; others emotionally stable. I may have a knack for making money; you, a knack for making friends. In managment, we place people according to their strengths (The friendly folks meet the public, others work in the back), but God does not work this way. God is jealous for glory (and rightfully), so He places His people according to weakness. This is the point the Apostle Paul is making above.
Paul had learned that the successes which were most meaningful to the Kingdom of God are those successes for which man can not take credit. You see, when a strong man lifts a heavy weight, the strong man is applauded. When a weak man lifts a heavy weight, God is applauded. The goal of every dedicated Christian is for God to be applauded. So, Paul learned to take pleasure in his weaknesses because he knew that God could be most glorified in them.
He took pleasure in INFIRMITIES: Disease, malady, weakness. He took pleasure in REPROACHES: Insults leveled at him for his peculiar, Christian ways. He took pleasure in NECCESSITIES: Not in his abundance, but in his lack of supply. He took pleasure in PERSECUTIONS: Paul was physically and mentally persecuted at every had. He took pleasure in DISTRESSES FOR CHRIST'S SAKE: Those moments when he had no answer to the complex problems of life.
Christian, have you come to the place where you love God so much that you can be thankful for the weaknesses of your life knowing how they could glorify God? To the non-Christian, this seems like a miserable existence, but dedicated believers know that the life abandoned to the glory of God is the sweetest existence available.
By Dave Thompson