But he said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me. (2 Corinthians 12:9, NET)

Paul had what he called “a thorn in the flesh”—he doesn’t mention what it was—that he said was given by God so that he would not become arrogant due to a vision God had given him of paradise. This thorn in the flesh made him weak and he asked the Lord to take the weakness away. God’s answer is in our passage. My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

It’s an extraordinary statement from God and one we ought to consider carefully. Power usually comes from strength, not weakness, but God once again upsets our expectations of how he should act (much like he did when Jesus was born to an obscure, unmarried woman in an obscure little town in the backwoods of an obscure territory of the Roman Empire). God’s power comes from the opposite of man’s power. God’s power comes from weakness in us.

The reason for this does seem obvious. When we must rely on God rather than ourselves, then God gets the glory for what is accomplished, and not ourselves, and this also is a good thing, even though in our flesh we do not like it.

I think it will take me awhile to boast most gladly about my weaknesses like Paul does here, but God will keep working on me until I rely on him and not myself, sure, he has a lot of work to do in me, but he will persist at it, of that I have no doubt.