by John Michalak
Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, and in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10
Some people have a funny idea of pleasure.
Some think it’s fun to run a 26-mile marathon. Some enjoy playing football, an impact sport where you’re lucky when you walk away with just a few bruises. Some enjoy cliff diving, boxing, getting tattoos, and so on.
Is this what Paul is speaking of? The actual feeling of joy or pleasure while feeling weakness or pain? Some would say, yes. But there’s no record of Paul bursting out laughing or demonstrating emotional joy while suffering. Instead, it says that his heart was resolute, he remained focused on the God who called him and God’s ability to save.
So, perhaps Paul’s definition of “pleasure” here was less about joyous enthusiasm as it was about a deep sense of contentment, safety, and purpose. No matter how much suffering he endured, his pleasure was that it drove him into the strong arms of God.
The fact is that, with the right attitude, the enemy can’t use any life circumstance, either abundance or suffering, to defeat you. Paul expanded his idea of pleasure beyond just what made him outwardly emotional. Whatever it took to lead him to God was the path to true joy.
We could all benefit from adopting this attitude.
Prayer: Lord, give me the strength to seek You in weakness.