What’s your weakness?

What’s your weakness? Your main struggle in life? Your unrelenting burden that won’t get its grip off you?

Paul knew about burdens. He describes his battle in 1 Corinthians 12:7…

“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.”

Many commentators have suggested this refers to a physical ailment, but John Macarthur, in his book Our Sufficiency in Christ, states his belief that the thorn is a person – in particular, the ringleader of the Corinthian opposition who was personally attacking Paul’s character and ministry.

While we can’t be sure what afflicted Paul, it is clear that Satan was behind it and God allowed it. Pastor John Piper adds his thoughts on the passage:

“Satan afflicts the children of God through his angels or messengers,” said Piper. “His aim is destruction and death and misery. But it’s not that simple is it? Satan is not the only one at work here. God is at work. This thorn is not just the work of Satan to destroy. It is the work of God to save.”

In the passage, Paul goes on to say:

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 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.”

In Paul’s testimony we see both opposition and redemption. There is no doubt we will be opposed – tormented if you will – in our lifetime.
Our own sin, and the actions of others, will prove an obstacle at times. But there is a savior… One whose redeeming love and all-surpassing grace will set us free – again and again.

Perhaps you’re on your ‘third time’ of pleading with the Lord… Why not take the opportunity to just rest and listen to his voice. Hear these words again:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…”

We must accept that God’s grace is enough for each new situation we face, and as his children we have complete access to his power. This power enables us to rise up stronger and fight our battles, allowing them to humble and transform us in the process. God is enough, and we are mighty in him.

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4)



  1. Hi Ali

    Some really great points you have brought up. I really like what you said,

    This thorn is not just the work
    of Satan to destroy. It is the work of
    God to save.”

    God knows what “thorns” we struggle with but God has a plan to save us!!!
    Great post Ali.


    1. I’m glad Rolain… Yes, God may allow thorns, but he also equips us with what we need spiritually to overcome evil with good. God bless you as you stay strong in his power this week, Ali

  2. What great encouragement for us, Ali. Praying to get to the point that I delight in hardships and weaknesses and difficulties. Not there yet! :). Thank you and God bless you as He works in and through you today!

    1. Thank you Debbie. Haha, yes delight isn’t always what I feel either!
      Great to read your beautiful reflections on your blog once again.
      God bless you abundantly today as you rest in His grace,

    1. I’m glad you’ve been encouraged by the verse too. God doesn’t promise to take our problems away but He does give us sufficient grace to endure them 🙂

Comment on this post?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s