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.
The latter half of verse 9 and verse 10 are Paul’s responses to God’s provision. He responded with two “therefores.” These two responses show the apostle’s attitude about God’s will. It was not a change of attitude about his situation but about how he accepted God’s answer. It was a faith response.
Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities,
Since Paul submitted himself to God’s will, he no longer prayed that the Lord would remove the thorn. He determined that his thorn would not impede progress in ministry.
From the point where Paul came to grips with why God was doing what He was doing, the apostle no longer reveled in the extraordinary revelations given to him. He rejoiced that he was in God’s will.
that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
The apostle trusted in Christ to execute His power in the situation in which he found himself. The Lord placed him in a richer circumstance to overcome his weakness. This put him in the spot to receive rich blessing from the Lord. God put him in a place where he could see God’s grace at work in his life. We will see the way Christ’s power manifests itself in 2 Corinthians 13:4. We saw it in 2 Corinthians 1:8-10; 4:7; 5:1; 6:7.
The word “rest” in “the power of Christ may rest upon me” means to tabernacle or pitch a tent. God pitched a tent over the apostle. He became a dwelling place of God’s grace and power. The tabernacle in the Old Testament was where God’s shekinah glory resided (Ex 40:34-38). The glory of Christ was put in focus on Paul’s life. God’s glory is the manifestation of His attributes. Paul looked to God to manifest His attributes in his ministry.
We are at the most power when we rely on God and not ourselves.
We need grace to face vexing problems. Exercising the principle of grace in our lives can transform our Christian living. God wants to display His power in us.
The illusion that we have enough strength in ourselves to live the Christian life overlooks what the power of Christ can do in us. This is the reason God often brings us down from self-sufficiency. The surrender of our pride is a difficult issue. This is necessary to surrender to God’s power. We cannot confuse our power with God’s (Ex 3:11; 1 Co 1:27-29).
God’s grace is the vehicle through which His power is fully active in us. It is not our weakness that is the power, but it brings us to the desire for God’s grace exercised in our lives. Grace needs to be seen transparently in us. At times, our pain is for our greater good, for it shows God’s greater glory.
God’s will, not our desire, is the governing factor in whether He answers prayer.