2 Corinthians 12:9
“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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Explanation and Commentary of 2 Corinthians 12:9
Paul’s claim is that God had given him a “thorn in his flesh” (2 Cor 12:7) in order to prevent him from becoming conceited because of his powerful experiences and revelations from God. He said that he had pleaded with God to remove this “messenger from Satan” (2 Cor 12:8) but God’s reply was our verse 9.
God will not have us stand on our own strength. He would have us rely on him alone. Just as Gideon was deprived of the troops for a human victory over Israel’s enemies (Ju 7), God would deprive us of anything in ourselves that would boast of our own might in the life God has called us to.
Rather than be upset with God, Paul used the opportunity to praise God and boast in Christ alone (1 Cor 1:31). He had come to love the fact that he had “died, and [his] life [was] now hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:3). He also valued the results that came about as a result of his surrender to God’s will for his life, even the hardship of this humbling thorn.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of 2 Corinthians 12:9
#1 “But he said to me,”
God’s Word to the Apostle Paul was authoritative and inspired Paul to write infallible Scripture. One of the things God spoke to Paul was this particular Word, spoken in response to “unanswered” prayer from Paul. Sometimes when God doesn’t answer, it is because his answer is, “No.”
#2 “My grace is sufficient for you,”
How wonderful to receive the grace of God. We need nothing else. In this case, God is explaining that even if he is not going to deliver Paul of this “weakness,” it does not mean that God has no grace for Paul. This grace was first manifested in his salvation of Paul on the road to Damascus. In this case, God is saying that his salvation was all that Paul truly needed, and also that God would give him the grace to weather this “weakness.”
#3 “for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
It is sometimes misunderstood as being a weakness in some sin. This is not probable. More likely it is some physical ailment, but there is no way to know for certain. If Paul were talking about sin then he would be guilty of what others are accusing him of saying, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase” (Ro 6:1)?
#4 “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Paul lists “insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties,” (2 Cor 12:10) as, and along with his weaknesses that he will boast in for the sake of glorifying God for the power of Christ to rest upon him. Paul has found the secret to the Christian life. He has died to himself and lives unto God for the sake of Christ. Any weakness in his flesh will serve to bring God more glory as Paul accepts what God has for him with great trust in his plan and his goodness.
I highly recommend you hit the play button below to see this incredible commentary on 2 Corinthians 12:9.
Here’s another exceptional commentary from a bible study on 2 Corinthians 12:9.
Biblical Translations of 2 Corinthians 12:9
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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
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.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
And 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.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.