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Read Introduction to 2 Corinthians

 

9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 

 

Verse 9 is God’s answer to Paul’s prayer in verse 8.

9 And He said [had said] to me,

God answered the apostle’s prayer in a way that he did not expect. God denied his request. The Lord made this a standing or permanent answer to Paul (perfect tense). The thorn made him dependent upon God’s grace. Once he came to know God’s will, he stopped praying. He saw God’s higher purpose in his sufferings. God answered his prayer, although He denied his request. Our desire or request is not the governing factor in prayer.

“My grace is sufficient [enough] for you,

“Grace” here is Christ working through the apostle to meet his needs. The word “sufficient” shows that God is adequate to meet Paul’s needs. He does not need to concern himself with his thorn. God’s grace is enough for the apostle. He was unworthy of God’s unceasing favor, yet God gave it to him anyway. If the apostle depends on God’s grace, then God gets the glory.

for My strength [inherent power] is made perfect in weakness.”

God demonstrates His power through Paul’s weakness. “Made perfect” carries the idea of brought to completion. In the present tense, it means that God was not finished with making  Paul stronger in weakness. His weakness became the vehicle through which God worked.

PRINCIPLE:

God’s grace is sufficient for anything we might face.

APPLICATION:

Confidence in God’s grace allows us to take pleasure in affliction. Grace is a major teaching in the New Testament. The word appears 155 times. Jesus was “full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14). He manifested grace on earth (Jn 1:17). He gives Christians “grace upon grace” (Jn 1:16). The early church had “great grace on them all” (Ac 4:33). Our standing before God is based on grace (Ro 5:2). We need the “manifold grace of God” in suffering (1 Pe 4:10).

God’s answer to Paul’s prayer was that His grace was sufficient for the apostle. He could bear his thorn through God’s provisions. Paul’s trust needed testing. Chastening is not punishment but spiritual refinement; it is the crucible for character development.

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