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 12:10 NIV
In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul is tormented by a thorn in his side. He begs and pleads with God to remove it but the thorn is not removed. Does this mean that Paul’s prayers are not answered? No, because there are two ways this prayer could be answered: either God could remove the thorn, or He could strengthen Paul through the pain he was enduring.
The reason Paul implores God to remove the thorn is that he wants no more torment. Instead of removing it, God responds, “… My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness …” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV). God won’t bring pain into your life. However, He does know when you are in pain and He can use your weakest moment to display His power.
When you turn to Him in your weakness, He will fill you with His strength. Moreover, His strength is much more powerful than your own. So, ask yourself what your thorn might be. Rely on God to fill you with His strength in your time of trial—it is capable of overcoming addiction, filling the ache of loneliness, pushing past discouragement, and bringing comfort to soothe your grief.
- Pray for God to reveal to you what your thorn is and what He is trying to teach you.
- Pray for an infusion of His strength to get through your struggles.