From The Heart

Publish date: 08/26/2001

It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago--whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows--such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man--whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows--how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 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. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:1-10 NKJV


God’s grace is sufficient to meet and match any situation we face. Paul was not sick or diseased and his eyes were perfectly healthy, but he faced tremendous hardships and persecutions as he sought to obey God and answer the call of God that was on his life. Paul had several encounters with the Spirit of God after his first dramatic encounter with the living God on the road to Damascus. Before his conversion, he was greatly used by the devil to destroy God’s people, even though he sincerely thought that he was a crusader for God and the law. After his conversion, he was zealous for Jesus and became a big problem for the devil.


The Greek word aggelos is translated angel or messenger. This is a being, not an object like a sickness. Satan sent a messenger, a demon, to harass Paul. This demon tried to stop Paul, to hinder and harass him and even tried to kill him. The demon stirred people up to persecute Paul and to try to kill him. They even left him for dead at least once. Paul tells us what he went through in 2 Corinthians 11.


Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ?--I speak as a fool--I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness--besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.  2 Corinthians 11:22-30 NKJV


When God calls us, He anoints us, and He also graces us to deal with whatever we will face as we seek to obey Him. God does not call us because of us, but in spite of us. We can do our best when we yield to Him, and rely on Him, and allow Him to work through us. When we feel weak or inadequate, we rely on and trust in Him and His strength makes up the difference. Actually, we are in our place of greatest strength when we are weak in ourselves and we rely more on Him and lean harder on Him. You are in a good place when you need God’s grace and when you are dependent on God’s grace. His grace is sufficient for you!