“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
This verse is in response to the Apostle Paul’s request that God remove his “thorn in the flesh.” No one knows what the “thorn in the flesh” refers to. I think this is for the best. Because each of us face our own “thorns in the flesh” at different seasons in our lives.
Whatever this “thorn in the flesh” refers to for the Apostle Paul, we know that it was painful enough, draining enough, exhausting enough for Paul to ask God to remove it from him three times. The three times represents a complete number. My guess is that it wasn’t just three times that the Apostle Paul prayed for this, but that it was a constant prayer that God remove the source of pain.
It was to Paul’s prayer that God responds, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
You see, what God promises is not that he would take the suffering and pain out of his people. What God promises is the addition of grace in the midst of pain and suffering so that we can suffer triumphantly. We can suffer triumphantly because suffering is temporary. We can suffer pain triumphantly because God’s grace provides us with the assurance that “All things will work together for the good for those who trust in Jesus” (Romans 8:28). In fact, God promises to work through our suffering and pain to make us stronger.
The Apostle Paul responds to God’s affirmation of grace by saying, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:8).
God’s grace is infinitely greater than any suffering or pain we may endure.
So, take heart, my friends. In God’s kingdom suffering and pain never get the last word. God’s grace is more than sufficient. God’s grace abounds!