We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Aaron Martell.
2 Corinthians 12:1-10
1 I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. 3 And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— 4 and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. 5 On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses— 6 though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. 7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,[a] a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Can you imagine being taken up to heaven just for a quick visit? All of the things you would hear and see? You’d probably come back down to earth with two thoughts, “When can I go back” and “Why me? I must be doing something right.”
I don’t know about you but I’d be in a rush to tell everyone about the experience. I’d be on every podcast and write a book “10 minutes in Heaven” or something like that. But what does Paul do? He sticks to devoting his life to pointing everyone to our resurrected savior. Sharing the good news of who Jesus is.
He mentions his experience in Heaven 14 years after the fact, only to give an example of something that he could have boasted about but didn’t. What does he boast about? What should we be proud of? We boast the areas of our life where we messed up and Jesus redeemed us anyway. We boast about the addiction only Jesus could free us from.
The relationships we are terrible at, but Jesus made a way for reconciliation. These are the things of true strength that have real power to help others. There are so many accounts of near death experiences where people have caught a glimpse of what is on the other side of this life. But all of these accounts have not brought many people to a life in Christ. What has? Testimonies like Paul’s, like mine, like yours that show our weaknesses and how God has strengthened us and held us despite them. As Jesus says. “My Grace is all you need, my power works best in weakness.”
Lord, show me a weakness that I can share where you have filled in the gaps, so I can tell others that your strength brought me through. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Do more boasting! About his strength, and your weakness.
To receive the Faith Workout of the Day every morning, please sign up here.