2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“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. 10 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.
I feel useless.
I feel like a burden.
I feel hopeless.
Paul asked God three times to remove his "thorn in the flesh" and God's answer was, "My grace is sufficient for you..My strength is made perfect in your weakness"...
What does that mean? "My strength is sufficient for you"?
Does it means "Take what I hand you and let that be adequate"? Does it mean that "I will give you adequate strength to do what I give you to do"? Does it mean that there is no limit to God's strength and therefore you should be satisfied with that because all of God's strength is given to us so there is no limit on what we are able to do.?
Maybe the next phrase will give us a clue. "My strength is made perfect in your weakness." It is when people and the spirit world view me serving, or even merely enduring my pain without complaint, and still praising God for the strength he gives me to endure....then God's strength is perfected...it shines like a diamond, that has been cut and faceted and polished...through the buffeting the diamond endured does it more brightly shine.
Yea verily, and I count all things to be loss for the excellancy of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things. and do not count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ and be found in him (ASV)
ie;The things that I have lost (my health my self-sufficiency) are mere garbage considering what I have gained in their place: the treasure of knowing Jesus intimately.
Not only do we gain the honor of intimacy with Christ, we gain the gift of his strength becoming our own. His strength is sufficient for us--it is made perfect in our weakness. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil 4;13)
So ultimately: if God has a job for us to do, he will grant us the strength to do it. And if we are to be a lesson to others in our gracious (grace-filled) suffering, then God's strength is perfected in our weakness and we are a life example to those who view us filled with the strength that God gives us to endure. And they see Jesus in us, who in his suffering did not count equality with God as something to cling to...rather he suffered and died a criminal's death.(Phil 2:6-8) If we can suffer humbly (which we can because God's grace is sufficient in us) and still bring honor and praise to God then we have run the race with endurance, fought the good fight and glorified Christ in sharing with him his suffering.