Sermon by Rev. Prabhu
Conquest in Calamity
2 Cor 12: 7-10
Paul did go thru some difficult times in life.
Paul’s opponents used that opportunity to question his apostolic authority.
Paul’s opponents had a lot of visions and other spiritual experiences.
They wanted Paul to prove his apostolic authority by such Visions and Experiences
Paul did have experiences.
The proof that Christ has sent Paul was not his experience 14 years earlier.
But he has more to say.
I. A Thorn in the Flesh – a purposeful but a painful experience
It was hurting Paul badly.
A sharp stick hurting constantly in him – sticking deeply in the flesh pricking.
It Could have been an epilepsy or an eye problem or persisting weakness due to Malaria or a spiritual struggle or a people causing pain.
It was torture for Paul.
Satan tried to use this to destroy God’s purposes in Paul’s life.
Satan is active during the weak moments of our life. Speaks louder.
Weakness is not a hindrance for God to be active in our life. He can bring Glory out of our weakness.
God is in control.
God has a plan for us. His purpose is that the plan will work out in the end.
II. God’s Sufficiency in need – God’s Grace – an answered prayer
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
God always answers our prayers, but sometimes it is in a different way. It may be different from the way that we ask.
God always gives enough grace. There is enough for us to win over our troubles. God’s grace also draws us closer to Christ
Paul prayed to God three times to remove the thorn from him.
All the three times there was an answer – it was not a ‘Yes’
Jesus prayed three times in the garden of Gethsemane – there was no affirmative answer.
We only want affirmative answers from God.
To Paul the problem persisted even after prayer.
– It was still there – couldnot get it out.
God told him to depend on Him.
It helped him not to depend on his own powers and strength.
Two fold grace – saving grace and sustaining grace.
We are not only saved by Grace we are sustained by His grace.
All we need to do is to abide in Him.
Cat and Monkey theology – Let us Cling on and submit to him. He will carry us through
III. Strength in weakness – God’s provision
Paul is very happy to talk about his weakness.
Life has been difficult. But Paul can be glad about all this. It is all for the glory of Jesus Christ.
The power of Christ is with him. It comes as the result of his weakness.
With God’s power, The thorn in his body is not a weakness but a strength.
Now Paul was a stronger person.
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
It became a delightful experience.
For when I am weak, then I am strong
We need to give God His glory even in infirmities so God’s power might rest upon him.