King James Version (KJV)
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for 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.
10herefore 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.
Paul had asked God three times to remove what he called “a thorn in the flesh”. Clearly Paul believed God allowed him this challenge to keep in humble. He believed it was Satan who had given it to him, but that God was the one that allowed it to bring about His own perfect will.
Upon Paul’s third request for God to remove the troublesome thorn, Paul realized there was another reason for God to deny the removal. “For
when I am weak, then am I strong.” We see Paul’s above acceptance in these words: “My grace is sufficient for thee.”
Many times we read these verses and we focus on the fact that God wants to keep us humble; and yes, He does. We learn in these verses that He can use us in our weakness far greater than he can in our strengths. We understand that our strengths can actually sometimes get in God’s way. These are important lessons we can take from this passage and many encouraging sermons and commentaries have been written regarding those lessons.
But for me, there has always been an underlying message in these verses that is just as important, but often times overlooked. “My grace is sufficient for thee.”
Those words tell me if God did no other thing for me, His grace is already enough. The fact that He died on the cross for me, is all I should ever need. Certainly I am undeserving of that kind of grace! Why would I expect even more!
Now, that understanding is not to take anything away from all the things God does for us and truly wants to do for us. I am not saying we shouldn’t ask for more, or that He doesn’t want to hear our requests. Scripture is very clear that of course He does. He wants us to pray about everything (1 Thessalonians 5: 17) and to let our requests be known. (Philippians 4:6)
But for me, I often find comfort in these verses that it really doesn’t matter when the answer to my prayer is “no”, or “wait”! His grace is already enough! Yes, I know His perfect will shall be revealed but even more than that, His amazing grace is already enough! There are some days when I don’t want to expect any more. His grace is sufficient for me. It causes us to go back to the cross. It causes us to reflect on the Suffering Servant and all that He did. For me, that is a splendid place to be.
2 Corinthians 1: 3-11
1 Peter 5:10