September 23, 2018 | Jake Mitchell | 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
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. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
Sometimes we need to honestly ask ourselves, what do I really believe? Do you stand on your own wisdom, your education or individual influence? Or do you truly believe the word of God, not just the parts your experiences lend evidence to, but the hard stuff, the stuff only the eyes of faith can see? Without a rock solid foundation, we will be easily blown whichever way the wind goes, and we will quickly find ourselves adrift with no anchor. Our goal throughout this series, is to firmly anchor our faith in God's promises to us, and to bring us confidence that even though the world around us may crumble, God's word does not!
Community Group Questions
l. Are there any thorns/weaknesses in your life (difficult trials, disappointments, physical difficulties, relational tensions, psychological struggles) that you find yourself continually praying for God to remove from your life?
2. Why is it so hard for us to view these as opportunities for God's grace to be displayed in our lives? What shift has to happen in our mind and heart to get us to embrace the thorns God has not removed from us?
What does surrender look like for your specific thorn/weakness?
4. Think about a specific weakness in your life. What is a specific promise from Scripture that God speaks that addresses that weakness and gives you hope? What would allowing God to speak that promise into your weakness sound like?
How have you seen God's sustaining and empowering grace at work in your life amidst weakness?
5. Ultimately, why does the gospel make this promise true?