“He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.'” (II Corinthians 12:9)
History is replete with examples of God healing and rescuing His people from illnesses and difficult situations — but it is also filled with people whose prayers for a miracle or deliverance were NOT answered positively. For those in such situations, you are in good company, as this was the testimony of the Apostle Paul.
In II Corinthians 12 Paul tells us that He asked the Lord three times to heal him from the “thorn in the flesh” which was given him. But the Lord did not. Instead, Paul says “He said, to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.'” In other words, God was NOT going to perform the miracle of healing Paul. Instead, He would perform the miracle of giving him the grace and power he needed to overcome despite the weakness he would continue to live with.
Many of God’s people need to realize that their answer from the Lord is the same. Like Paul they have asked for a certain illness to be healed, or a weakness to be taken away, only to be denied. What reason would the Lord have for not helping His people in such times?
Those of us in such situations should take our cue from His answer to Paul here: God will often allow His people to continue with a difficulty, in order that His grace and power might be demonstrated through their weakness, in a way which they would not otherwise.
Sometimes this may be for the purpose of keeping us from a certain sin. Paul wrote here that God allowed the infamous, unnamed “thorn” to continue in his life, to keep him humble in light of the great revelations he had received. Or, as also in Paul’s case here, God may allow us to continue to struggle in order to keep us continually dependent upon Him. THE signal quality of the Kingdom is poverty of spirit (Matthew 5:3), which is dependence upon God. If God can build the single most important quality of the Christian life into His child by allowing a weakness to continue, He will do so. His standards of “success” in life are widely different from ours. Our goal is usually just to have a “happy & easy life.” His goal for us is to become like Christ in our character.
So if an illness, or weakness, or some other troubling situation in our life keeps us humble, and dependent upon his grace, God in His infinite wisdom may just allow it to continue. If we can understand WHY, as Paul did here, it might help us not only to “put up with it”, but even learn to be content with it, as we grow stronger in His grace and power through depending upon Him in our weakness.