When we have an area of life that we’re weak in, we can feel guilty and ashamed because of it. When Paul was praying about the ‘thorn’ he had, God answered by explaining how Paul’s weakness was an opportunity for His power to work. Paul writes: ‘Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong’ (vv.8-10 NLT). Before God spoke, all Paul wanted was for God to remove his problem. After God spoke, he realised that in his problem he had found something better and greater – supernatural strength for those tough times, which helps us realise that God’s presence is greater than our problems and His purpose is greater than our pain. Sometimes we can be so busy telling God what we think He ought to do for us that we can’t hear God telling us what He wants to do in us. The Bible tells us that God ‘gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak’ (Isaiah 40:29 NIV). When we have to rely on His strength rather than our own, we’re closer to Him and dependent on Him. And any time we’re victorious in that area, it glorifies Him. We don’t need to feel ashamed about our weaknesses; instead we need to thank God that His power can work through us.
Instead of asking God to take your ‘thorn’ away, try asking Him to show you what He wants to do in and through you because of it.
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