“And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness . . . .” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV)
After seeking the Lord for the third time to remove his “thorn in the flesh,” Paul said . . . “I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.” The Lord had already said at Paul’s conversion, “I will show him how many things he must suffer for my namesake (Acts 9:16).” Paul’s sufferings began immediately and continued in unbroken succession for over 30 years. But through it all Paul sang as he suffered. He believed the greater the suffering in this world, the greater God’s Glory in eternity. Paul believed suffering changes us for the better and that in Christ nothing is too hard to be endured.
I can tell you, it is never easy when we are tested by the rough seas of life, but it helps to know we grow stronger with each storm. I thank Paul for his example. For I have discovered as did Paul, that “the things that have happened to me have been for the furtherance of the Gospel.” I realize that every stormy wind and every painful thorn has been to advance the cause of Christ. And through it all the joy of the Lord has been the strength that has enabled me to say, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” By God’s Grace, I have the Blessed assurance that Emanuel is with me–His strength is perfect, and God’s Grace is enough.