“I begged the Lord three times to take it away from me. But he told me: ‘My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak’” (2 Corinthians 12:8,9 GW).
This is a great go-to section if you’re feeling down by chronic pain. It reminds you and me that the pain is there for a holy reason. If it serves no sanctified purpose, then God is just an all-powerful bully and our faith in him is false. But that would contradict every promise God spoke through his Word and every blessing so lovingly given to us, his adopted children.
Just like us, the apostle Paul experienced frustration—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Just like us, he thought the Lord’s work would be better served without those frustrations. But God knows us better than we know ourselves. Paul says it was to keep him from being conceited. We don’t always receive a clear-cut reason for our pain.
However, there’s an incredible testimony to be found in Christians who suffer. Through the pain made by the thorns, the Source of life blazes brightly. So if Christ uses our weakness to demonstrate his strength to the world, praise God!