2 Corinthians 12:9-10 "‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (NIV)
When was the last time you heard someone say, “Praise the Lord for these difficult times!” You would have to admit it is not a natural human response or feeling. Yet Paul, in far worst circumstances (2 Corinthians 11:24-27) than almost any of us will ever experience, said he delighted in these times because they made him strong through Christ’s power resting on him. Paul’s perspective and response did not focus on the negative but on the opportunity to see God’s work during difficult times. Trying times become an opportunity to exercise your faith. Continuing forward by faith during difficult times gives you the opportunity to see God’s work. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 11:30 “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” Seeing God’s hand in your life will make you stronger because you will have experienced God’s power and love first hand – not secondhand. When times of weakness occur, others insult you, you are experiencing hardship, others are actively persecuting you, or everything you do is just difficult - look to God, ask for God’s power, and get excited as you expectantly watch for the work of God’s hand on you.
1 Peter 4:12-14 “But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” (NIV)
Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.” (NIV)