My pondering: This passage is one that is immposible to comprehend in our natural wordly state. Its the opposite of ‘survivial of the fittest’. Its not that we shouldn’t strive to be fit; physically, mentally and emotionally but there is a limit. We all have a certain capacity. God rules in all and He, and only He, operated in that area. He specializes with His all sufficent grace to reverse evil and miraculously pivot into good for those He loves and seek His divine care…and sometimes even when we are too pridedful or stubborn not too.
Yes, His grace is sufficient for He is God almighty.
How does, “my power is made perfect in weakness” make any sense? Hmmm? It must have something to do with humility and glory.
Our humilty. His glory.
Let’s look at this passage in James 4:5 — 4:10 “Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.”
God wants us to direct our inner spirit, that which is a kin to His as we were created in His image, not to be prideful, arrogant and disprectful. We see that God wants us to self govern our spirit. He will help and see to it regardless. We may choose the easier way or the harder way but its going to be most likely both as we all are imperfect. Paul demonstrates that.
Peter urges us here in 1 Peter 5:6 — 10 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
We see in eternity, all will be made right by God Himself. Yes! Restored (to our pre-sin state), Confimed (as one of His own), Strengthened (in spirit and given a heavenly new undefiled powerful body) and Established (given our citizenship under His direct rule and presence).
No doubt, it will all be worth it and this temporary suffering will be gone as yesteryear as we thrive in God’s glory.
I truly like Matthew Henry’s commentary and wanted to include a snippet here but the whole thing was so ‘rightous’, here is it all.
12:7-10 The apostle gives an account of the method God took to keep him humble, and to prevent his being lifted up above measure, on account of the visions and revelations he had. We are not told what this thorn in the flesh was, whether some great trouble, or some great temptation. But God often brings this good out of evil, that the reproaches of our enemies help to hide pride from us. If God loves us, he will keep us from being exalted above measure; and spiritual burdens are ordered to cure spiritual pride. This thorn in the flesh is said to be a messenger of Satan which he sent for evil; but God designed it, and overruled it for good. Prayer is a salve for every sore, a remedy for every malady; and when we are afflicted with thorns in the flesh, we should give ourselves to prayer. If an answer be not given to the first prayer, nor to the second, we are to continue praying. Troubles are sent to teach us to pray; and are continued, to teach us to continue instant in prayer. Though God accepts the prayer of faith, yet he does not always give what is asked for: as he sometimes grants in wrath, so he sometimes denies in love. When God does not take away our troubles and temptations, yet, if he gives grace enough for us, we have no reason to complain. Grace signifies the good-will of God towards us, and that is enough to enlighten and enliven us, sufficient to strengthen and comfort in all afflictions and distresses. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Thus his grace is manifested and magnified. When we are weak in ourselves, then we are strong in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; when we feel that we are weak in ourselves, then we go to Christ, receive strength from him, and enjoy most the supplies of Divine strength and grace.
Paul says he will boast only of knowing Christ and his weakness. This kind of boasting draws God’s power. I must try it.
All glory be to God. Hallelujah! (a Hebrew word meaning “praise ye YAHweh” – the LORD)
My prayer: Lord, may I intentionally decrease. That old man in me less and the new man more