“And [by] the superabundance of the revelations, that I not be made arrogant, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan, that he might buffet me, that I not be made haughty. Beyond this I entreated the Lord three times, that it depart from me. And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness. Therefore, I will rather gladly boast in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may overshadow me. Because of this, I am pleased in weaknesses, in insults, in dire needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for the sake of Christ. For when I may be weak, then I am powerful” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
This passage requires assiduous meditation for magnifying Jesus Christ in life and in death (Philippians 1:20-21), in weaknesses and infirmities. Paul says this:
“Therefore, I will rather gladly boast in my weaknesses [Greek: astheneia] , that the power [Greek: dunamis] of Christ may overshadow me.”
Paul concludes with:
“For when I may be weak [Greek: astheneō], then I am powerful [Greek: dunatos].”
True Christians meditate on 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 to make a Christ-honoring application in their vaporous lives by hallowing their God and Father through Jesus Christ.
I read a comment somewhere that said that while Paul did boast or take pleasure in various difficulties, he did not pray for a second thorn. When I duly consider the verses quoted above, and these here quoted below, I pray for Christ-glorifying prudence, patience, thankfulness, and perspective.
“Again I say, let not anyone think me to be foolish. But if not, even if as foolish, receive me, that I also may boast a little. What I speak, I speak not according to [the] Lord, but as in foolishness, in this boldness of boasting. Since many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast. For you with pleasure endure fools, being wise. For you endure if anyone enslaves you, if anyone devours, if anyone takes away [from you], if anyone exalts [self], if anyone beats you in the face. I speak according to dishonor, as if we have been weak. But in whatever anyone dares (I say it in foolishness), I also dare. Are they Hebrews? I also. Are they Israelites? I also. Are they Abraham’s seed? I also. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as beside myself.) I [being] beyond [them]: in labors, more abundantly; in stripes, beyond measure; in prisons, much more; in deaths, many times. Five times I received forty [stripes] minus one from the Jews. I was flogged three times; I was stoned once; I was shipwrecked three times; I have spent a night and a day in the deep. [I have been] in travels often, in dangers of rivers, in dangers of robbers, in dangers from [my] race, in dangers from [the] nations, in dangers in [the] city, in dangers in a wilderness, in dangers in [the] sea, in dangers among false brothers, in hardship and toil, often in watchings, in hunger and thirst, often in fastings, in cold and nakedness, besides the things outside conspiring against me day by day, the care of all the assemblies. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is caused to stumble, and I do not burn? If it is right to boast, I will boast [of] the things of my infirmity. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ knows, the [One] being blessed to the ages, that I am not lying. In Damascus the ethnarch [under] Aretas the king guarded the city of [the] Damascenes, desiring to seize me. And I was let down through a window through the wall in a basket and escaped their hands” (2 Corinthians 11:16-33).
“For, brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant as to our affliction having happened to us in Asia, that we were excessively burdened beyond [our] power, so as for us even to despair of living. But we ourselves have the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust on ourselves, but on God, the [One] raising the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).