Scripture: 2 Cor 11:30If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
Observation: It’s during the hard times that He carries us.
Application: Why would Paul say that he would rather boast about his weakness? Some people had been coming into the congregation at Corinth and preaching something a little different from what Paul taught. (Probably this was Gnostic’s, a very early sect of Christianity that was later deemed dangerous and heretical) This was a painful portion of the letter for Paul to write I’m sure, I can see that he is struggling with his emotions. In the verses preceding the one I shared this morning, he goes into a tirade, calling the false teachers fools, and comparing them with the devil.
Paul goes into a rant, (my paraphrase) “Well if you are going to listen to fools, then listen to me brag!” He talks about how he is better than the false teachers – saying all the while how silly it was for him to be talking that way. Then, as if coming back to his senses, our scripture If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. Why Paul? Why do you want to boast of your weakness as you face the false teachers who are boasting of their strengths, they are saying how they have as much or more right to teach about Christ as you do. They must be teaching an easier way, preaching a smoother path, removing some of the restrictions of Jesus’ teachings so that their message is more appealing. Why under those circumstances would you boast of your weakness?
The message of Christianity is not that God is going to remove all the barriers that we have to encounter, its not that receiving Jesus makes your life easier – in fact often the opposite is true. It’s not that we don’t face the storm, its just this, God promises to go through the storm with us. Jesus said, “I will never leave you,” and “I will be with you always even until the end of the age.” So when Paul was boasting about his weakness, he was saying, (this is me being a little creative with Paul’s words) “See it’s not my strength that has brought me through all these troubles I’ve faced, and kept me from perishing under all the dangers I’ve encountered, I am a weak man, but God is a strong fortress, a tower unto which I run and am protected.” “So I don’t boast of my strengths as those who come to teach you that the way is made smooth, instead I boast of my weakness from one who knows the way as rocky and difficult.”
Now that – I can relate to.
Prayer: Heavenly Father,
Even as I write this I am reminded that the way is difficult and that waves crash around on every side. But I thank You for this day, for this another opportunity to show Your love, and to experience Your Spirit around me, about me and through me. Please be with me and my family as we go through the struggles we face, be with those who’s health is failing, be with those who’s hearts are broken, and who’s lives are in turmoil. Thank you for being there with us through the hard times. Oh Lord – please carry us.
Yield: I am weak