Week 3- Grace Bible study series: 2 Corinthians 12:9

Posted February 19, 2020 by Jenna in Bible study, Devotionals, faith / 0 Comments

REVIEW:

Last week I admit was a loooong read. We learned about why Paul experienced a “thorn” in His flesh, and what we could learn from it. God allowed it to happen to him so He wouldn’t become arrogant in His pride. Jesus’ response to prayer was “no” because He wanted to show off His power, that glory belongs to Him and not to Paul. Same as with us, whatever pain or trial we’re experiencing, let’s allow His grace to fill us, so He can prove that He will bring us through. J

If you haven’t checked out the last 2 week’s content, check them out here: LINK

WHAT YOU’RE IN FOR TODAY’S BIBLE STUDY: 

  • Unpacking the second part of verse 9, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
  • What does “Boasting in our weaknesses” mean?
  • What does it mean when Christ’s power rests on us?

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Oftentimes, we miss out on doing something because we’re scared, or we think we can’t do it because we are not qualified, or perhaps it’s just not your “strength”? Have you ever missed out on an opportunity in life because you excuse yourself of your “weaknesses”?

“WEAK” has become an ugly word in the realm of today’s social media generation. It causes us to then pretend and hide behind the façade of “gorgeousness” and “fighting strengths”, when deep inside we’re hurting, we’re struggling. Because who is proud of their own flaws? Isn’t it that’s why we photoshop our pictures? Edit our videos? Filter our Instagram posts? We wait to post “before and after” posts, so people can already see our success now, rather than boldly posting the “before” picture, prior to posting a what might be future picture.

Alright, alright, I am sooooo NOT innocent from all of these. I still filter my pictures (for aesthetic purposes hehe), I’m guilty of trying to find my good angle when taking pictures. (you’d be happy to know I used to be so vain about it but now I simply don’t care, whatever angle a friend posts, I am not mad, lol. I am who I am no matter what ugly or good angle it is from)

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Boasting about our Weaknesses? Come again?

Paul had a different idea though! Because of what Christ said to him (“My grace is sufficient for you, for mypower is made perfect in weakness.”), he trusted Jesus’ words and His perspective all together changed. 

Paul said, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,”

WHY?

“so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

WHOA! Talk about perspective change!

For Paul, being proud of his weaknesses threw off his haters. Yes, Paul had haters from the Corinth church, false teachers and the like. It went against the social value belief system of the Greco-Roman culture. Strength and prestige, honor & shame, were what brought them and their family glory. Especially when you’re a leader, you are expected to be rich and strong. They thought weaknesses are not in line with God’s will.[1]So, imagine what their reaction would have been with Paul’s statement. “What? He is proud of his weaknesses? What the Paul? You’re embarrassing us!” I can almost hear them say. 

This is precisely why this statement seems to act as an “antidote” to what they were boasting about. 

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What does it mean when Christ’s power rests on us?

Jesus’ power “resting” in us, does not simply mean a bird perching on top of your shoulder. This word in Greek originated from the verb σκηνόω, meaning “to dwell in a tent”. In this context, Jesus’ power and strength will come live with us, inhabit in us. How friggin’ cool is that? That’s a powerful word, then!

Now I’m understanding better why Paul was not just admitting of His weaknesses, whether this was physical illness or something else… BUT boasting about it is taking it to another level! That’s precisely his point. The weaker we are, the more potential for God’s strength to show up, resulting in Christ’s power actually resting on us, meaning living in us! 

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[1]Hubbard, 2 Corinthians, 374–375.

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