“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 12:10, ESV)
This is both shocking and inspiring. Instead of being ashamed of weaknesses and trying to deny or overcome them, Paul says he is “content” with weaknesses and glories in them!
διὸ εὐδοκῶ — Therefore I am content. Literally: glory, rejoice in, approve, to think well of something. So we get good at approving what we used to think were strikes against us.
Paul names five:
- ἐν ἀσθενείαις, — weakness, frailty, sickness
- ἐν ὕβρεσιν, — insults and injuries from outside
- ἐν ἀνάγκαις, — hardships, necessities, required stuff
- ἐν διωγμοῖς καὶ — persecutions
- ἐν στενοχωρίαις, —calamities, tight spots, squeezes
Paul now sees them as occurring to grow and increase our kingdom usefulness.
ὑπὲρ Χριστοῦ — on behalf of Christ!
So he boasts:
ὅταν γὰρ ἀσθενῶ,—for when I am weak*
τότε δυνατός εἰμι — then powerful I am!
For more: read Peter’s description of maturing in Christ below
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself
- strengthen, and
- establish you.
—1 Peter 5:10, ESV