In 2 Corinthians 12:9, how is this... — The Holy Bible Q&ABrief
The second epistle to the Church of Corinth is the most biographical and least doctrinal epistle of Paul. In his first letter to the Corinthians, he reprimanded them and corrected them, and when Titus returned to Paul with a report of how the Corinthians received his letter [2 Cor 7:6-7], there was also news that some people from Corinth had began to question Paul‘s authority as an apostle. This was troubling, for if Paul‘s apostleship was questioned, his teachings and commands would be meaningless. Much of 2 Corinthians was devoted to Paul‘s explanation of his apostleship and how he lives, and we learn a lot more about Paul here than in any other of his epistles. In 2 Corinthians 12 Paul insists on boasting about his weaknesses, specially mentioning the thorn in his flesh [2 Cor 12:7], and in verse 9 he explains why he boasts in his weaknesses.
Analysis: Unanswered prayers
At first glance it will seem as if Paul‘s prayer was not answered. Paul prayed three times for the thorn in his flesh to be removed from him [2 Cor 12:8] – he was a good man, a man of faith, a righteous man. While the thorn in his flesh was not mentioned, God did answer, yet not in the way that Paul had expected or desired. He pleaded for God to remove the thorn from him, but God told him, my grace is enough for you, my power is made perfect in your weaknesses. God‘s grace is more than enough for us. No matter how we ‘use’ or ‘take’ it, we can never exhaust it, we can never deplete it.
God‘s grace is the basis of anything good that comes from the Lord. Hope. Faith. It’s all based on the salvation that is rooted in God‘s grace. Christ? It’s God‘s grace too. When he says my grace is sufficient for you, he’s just about saying that you can conquer your circumstances with what I’ve already given you. I can do everything through him who gives me strength [Phil 4:13].
God always listens to our prayers. He might not always answer – more often than not, he answers our prayers in ways we do not anticipate. We cannot expect God to answer our prayers in the way we want Him to. God is God, we’re not God. This faith is not one of convenience, where you turn to God simply to make your life easier. It is a faith of convenant, a faith rooted in hope in God‘s promise. David prayed fervently for the life of the child [2 Sam 12:16], fasting and spending his nights on the ground, yet the child still died [2 Sam 12:18]. Job prayed again and again for deliverance and vindication, yet God does not answer until far later [Job 30:20]. Jesus prayed for his cup to be removed, but we know it wasn’t [Mark 14:36].
Sometimes, God‘s grace can be shown better not when he answers our prayers in the way that we desire. Had God removed the thorn in Paul‘s flesh, we might be reading about gratitude in 2 Corinthians 12 instead of grace. Paul understood the purpose of the thorn in his flesh, and celebrated the purpose of the thorn even if he has to suffer from the pain caused by it. The pain of the thorn reminds him to be humble before God in a time when he was daily preaching the great revelations of Christ, at a time when he as leader, as teacher, as apostle yielded immense authority and power. Sometimes, God simply have a far greater plan for us than what we have for ourselves. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thought [Isaiah 55:9]. Through our trials God will support us, he will give us strength, sufficient strength for us to overcome our trials. He will support us and walk with us through it all. He could just remove the trial altogether. But it wouldn’t be a trial, then, would it? If Job‘s suffering ended the day he prayed for deliverance, he would have learnt nothing, would he? His three friends would have learnt nothing. And the theology of suffering wouldn’t be so clear to us today. We often do not know what we should pray for, after all [Romans 8:26].
Through our weaknesses, God‘s power is made perfect. Through our flaws, God‘s power is magnified. Through our imperfections, our insufficiencies, our failures, our temptations –God‘s power will shine. Thank God then for our flaws, or the mistakes that we make, or the thorns in our flesh, because it is through our own failings that we see God‘s grace. It is through our imperfections that we see God‘s work in our lives. When we are strong, and when things are going well, we often don’t realise the extent of God‘s power. We often are blinded to the fact that it was God who had given us that. Yet when men are desperate, in suffering, in pain, we tend to be able to see clearer that it is not our own strength, but God‘s.
Analysis: Delight in weaknesses
I think it extremely difficult to delight in my weaknesses. We live in a meritocratic and bureaucratic society. We delight in our strengths and frown on our weaknesses. Yet, again, God‘s words teaches us the opposite of how society functions. Let us not conform to society, but be transformed in the renewing of our minds [Romans 12:2]. It is not masochism, no matter how much boasting gladly in weaknesses and taking delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties – sound like it is. This delight is merely rooted in the fact that Paul counts it a privilege and an honour, as he is enjoying the work of God, he is enjoying the grace of God in abundance. This delight is not so much of pleasure, but more of contentment and satisfaction in the Lord.
God‘s grace is more than enough for us – is a prayer that I often pray without really knowing what I’m saying. A lot of times I pray it and expect something to happen. But God has already given his grace to us. In him we can draw on the strength and the comfort to conquer our difficulties. It is a great comfort, a great assurance. At times we ask God for deliverance, but in Him we can already draw the strength to face our difficulties. God has already given us what is enough – His grace. We have no reason to fear the trials that lie ahead of us.
It is a daily lesson, it is a daily prayer. Indeed, God‘s grace is sufficient for you and me.
God bless you,
And he said unto me
Either by what the Jews call (lwq) (tb) , Bath Kol, a voice from heaven, an articulate audible one; or by some extraordinary revelation of the Spirit of God; or by a divine impression upon his mind; whereby he was assured of what follows,
my grace is sufficient for thee;
the Lord always hears and answers his people sooner or later, in one form or another, though not always in the way and manner they desire; but yet in such a way as is most for his glory and their good: the apostle had not his request granted, that Satan might immediately depart from him, only he is assured of a sufficiency of grace to support him under the exercise, so long as it should last. There seems to be an allusion to the word (ydv) , Shaddai, an appellation of God, ( Genesis 17:1 ) , and signifies, which is sufficient: for God is all sufficient, and is a name that belongs to the Messiah. The angel whom God promised to the Israelites, to go before them in the wilderness, ( Exodus 23:23 ) , the Jews say F7 is Metatron (which is a corruption of the word mediator), whose name is as the name of his master. Metatron by gematry is Shaddai, one that is sufficient: however, certain it is, that the grace of Christ is alone sufficient for all his people, to all saving purposes, in all their times of need. It is alone sufficient, not to the exclusion of the grace of the Father or the Spirit; but in opposition and distinction to anything else, that may be rightly or wrongly called grace; what men generally call common or sufficient grace, which, they say, is given to all men, is a mere chimera; no grace is sufficient but what is effectual, and that is only the grace of Christ: the light of nature is insufficient to any saving purpose; the Gospel, which is called grace, and is the means of grace, is insufficient of itself to salvation, without the powerful and efficacious grace of Christ going along with it; and so are gifts, whether ordinary or extraordinary: nothing short of the grace of Christ is sufficient grace; and this is sufficient for all the elect of God, Jews and Gentiles, Old and New Testament saints, the family in heaven and in earth, the people of God that are already called, and are to be called, and for the worst and vilest of sinners; and it is sufficient to all saving purposes, to the acceptance of their persons before God, to their justification in his sight, to their pardon and cleansing, to their regeneration and sanctification, to the supply of all their wants, and to their perseverance in grace unto glory; and it is sufficient in all their times of need, in times of bodily affliction, of violent persecution, soul desertion, Satans temptations, and at the hour of death, and in the day of judgment. The reason given to support this answer, and to strengthen the apostles faith in it, is,
for my strength is made perfect in weakness;
by the strength of Christ is meant, not his strength as the mighty God, but that communicative strength which he has, and is in him as Mediator, and which saints look to him for, and receive from him; this is made perfect in their weakness; not that their weakness can add perfection to his strength, for his strength is perfect in itself, not to say anything of the contradiction such a sense carries in it; but the meaning is, that the strength of Christ is made to appear, is illustrated and shines forth in its perfection and glory, in supplying, supporting, and strengthening his people under all their weakness; and if they were not left to some weaknesses in themselves, his strength would not be so manifest; see ( James 2:22 ) . The answer to the apostles request, supported with this reason, was wonderfully satisfactory to him; wherefore he concludes,
most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities;
in the weaknesses which attended either his body or soul, through the buffetings of the angel Satan, rather than in his visions and revelations; or rather than insist upon his departure from him, he is content things should be as they were, since he had such a promise of a sufficiency of grace to bear him up, under and through whatever was the pleasure of God concerning him; and since the strength of Christ was made illustrious through his weakness, so that Satan was not able to make any advantage over him, he is willing to remain in the same posture and condition:
that the power of Christ,
may rest upon me,
or tabernacle over me; he considered himself as a poor weak feeble creature, and the power of Christ as a tabernacle over him, as the power of God is represented as a garrison about the believer, ( 1 Peter 1:5 ) , sheltering, preserving, and protecting him from the insults of Satan, in every form and shape; see ( Isaiah 4:6 ) , where Christ is said to be a tabernacle, for a place of refuge, and for a covert.
The All Sufficient God
He was full of Christ. The letter to Colossians stresses the all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ more than any of his letters. Jesus Christ "is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation" Colossians In Christ Jesus "are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" Col. The special self-revelation of God is at the foundation of Christianity.
John As we read through Scripture we so often glibly read and continue to read, with little thought as to its inner depth and its extraordinary significance.. He needs no food to nourish Him. He needs no water to sustain Him. He needs no air to remain breathing. He has no needs of cloths to keep Him warm or a home to abide within. He needs no friends to encourage.
Phil For I know that for me this will turn out to salvation through your petition and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Words of Ministry We need to learn the meaning of the title of God in , the all-sufficient God. In Hebrew this title is El-Shaddai. El means the Strong One, the Mighty One, and Shaddai, implying the meaning of breast, udder, means all-sufficient. An udder produces milk, and the milk is the all-sufficient supply, having water, minerals, and many vitamins in it and containing all that we need for our daily living. So El-Shaddai means the all-sufficient Mighty One.
God reveals Himself by many names throughout the scriptures that express a quality of His character that is vital for us to know.
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Self-Sufficient God — The Definition God, being identified and defined as self-sufficient, means He possesses within Himself every quality, ability, and supernatural command with never-ending measure. Every attribute or mighty and wonderful power is His endlessly.
Scripture: 2 Corinthians , 2 Corinthians Denomination: Baptist. For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: to the one we are the savor of death unto death ; and to the other, the savor of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, who corrupt the Word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God in the sight of God speak we in Christ. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
We serve an All-Sufficient God who is able to perfect all that concerns us. He is the God who is the beginning and the end and He does not start anything He is not capable of finishing. He would vindicate you. God will clear you of the criticism, guilt or suspicion that has been hovering over you. He will maintain, defend and sustain you against opposition. He will finish what He has started.