Thursday, June 05, 2014

Christ's Perfect Strength

Christ's Perfect Strength

June 4, 2014 at 7:03am

He said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you,
for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 

Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities,
that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities,
in reproaches,
in needs,
in persecutions,
in distresses, for Christ’s sake.
For when I am weak, 
then I am strong.
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

"I take pleasure in infirmities"
Not in them simply considered,
but as they were made use of to his advantage,
for the exercise of His grace,
and for His more abundant consolation;
and especially as they tended
to the glory of Christ,
and made His grace,
and strength
the more conspicuous:
by infirmities are meant
all outward troubles,
everything that is mean and abject,
distressing and afflicting,
whether from Satan or the world...which includes:... :

"in reproaches";
of Satan, the accuser of the brethren,
who sometimes reproachfully insinuates that they are hypocrites,
and serve God and Christ with mercenary views and selfish ends;
and of the men of the world,
who traduce them as deceivers,
treat them with opprobrious language,
and lead them with revilings and contumelies,
endeavour to take away their characters, credit, and reputation;
the faithful servants of Christ must go through bad report,
and suffer shame for the Name of Christ;
but these reproaches with Moses
are esteemed by them
greater riches than the treasures of Egypt:

"in necessities";
not of the soul...there being a sufficiency of grace in Christ
to relieve all its wants;
but of the body,
the apostle was sometimes reduced to very necessitous circumstances,
wanting the common necessaries of life,
being hungry, thirsty, and naked,
and yet cheerful:

"in persecutions";
from place to place by the enemies of the Gospel,
by whom he was severely handled
by beating, scourging, and imprisonment;
but his stripes were the marks of the Lord Jesus;
his chains were his crown,
and his prison a palace to him

in "distresses", or "straits";
both as to body and mind,
encompassed with such difficulties
that he knew not what way to take,
or course to steer:
and all for Christ's sake;
not for any real crime done by him,
but for a profession of Christ,
preaching His Gospel,
and for the glory of His Name;
and which made all these afflictions
so delightful to him,
having in the midst of them
the love of God
to comfort him,
the power and strength of Christ
to support him,
and the grace of the Spirit
to assist him,
and the presence of all the three Persons with him;
this he suggests to be the ground and reason
of his delight and pleasure,
in such otherwise disagreeable circumstances:

"for when I am weak, then am I strong";
when he was attended with all the above mentioned infirmities,
when laden with reproaches,
surrounded with necessities,
followed with persecutions,
and brought into the utmost straits and difficulties,
and was most sensible of his weakness in himself
to bear and go through all these things;
then was he upheld by the divine arm,
and strengthened by the power of Christ;
so that he was not only able to sustain the conflict,
but became more than a conqueror,
and even to triumph in the midst of these adversities;
he could and did readily take the advice in Joel 3:10;..
"let the weak say I am strong";
for he that is weak in himself,
and sees himself to be so,
is strong in Christ,
and has a comfortable experience
of renewed strength
from Him 

~ John Gill

No comments: