2 Corinthians 12:9

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

When I read the words “power” and “weakness,” I read two words with opposite meanings like “tall” and “short,” or “black” and “white.”

How can two clearly contradictory words ever work together “perfectly” as this scripture states? Shouldn’t there be only power or weakness?

Not necessarily. With God, opposites often do attract. God doesn’t see the world the way we see the world.

And here, it makes perfect sense that not just any power, but God’s power is made perfect in our weakness.


What the world considers weak or imperfect, God sees as an opportunity through which He can display His power and grace.

We must swallow our pride in order to let God work in and through us. If there’s an area of strength in our life, God knows we likely will not surrender it to Him.

Don’t get me wrong—God wants us to have good things and be strong. But He wants us to be strong in the Lord, giving glory and honor to Him, not to our efforts.

Adversity helps us realize that we have a good God who will see us through life’s challenges.

As we look to God for help, we grow more and more to understand our inability to save ourselves from our ultimate weakness: sin.

The Apostle Paul talked about struggling with a difficult situation or weakness in his life. He called it a “thorn in his flesh.” Paul asked God to remove the burden, but God basically told him “no.”

God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

That may seem like a harsh answer to Paul’s prayer. But God had a good reason. God knew that Paul’s weakness made him rely on God instead of himself.

God knows that if we were totally self-sufficient; if we went through life with no challenges, we might not remember God. We wouldn’t humble ourselves and ask God for help.

God wants us to give Him credit for the good things in our life and trust Him to sustain us through the difficulties. And most importantly, He wants us to trust Him with our salvation.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How perfect is your life? Is there anything about it or yourself you would want to change? What’s your “thorn in the flesh”?

2. Have you asked God to remove anything from you life? What has been His answer to date?
3. Does this promise that God’s power is made perfect in our weakness provide you with hope that there’s a purpose for your pain or adversity? What is that purpose?
4. Do you trust God to care for you even when things aren’t as perfect as you would like?

Dear God, thank you for showing your love for me even in my weaknesses. I admit that I like to be in charge and I like to take credit for my achievements. I admit that I need a reminder to look first to you for all my needs. I am so thankful for your grace, which will sustain me in any circumstance—good or bad. I trust that you are using my weakness to help me rely on you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.