2 Corinthians 12:10
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
A phrase that doesn’t seem to make sense is the phrase to “take pleasure in infirmities.” Infirmities make you weak and fragile, yet Paul said that he took pleasure in these. He said that he took pleasure in “reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake.”
The word “pleasure” means to delight and enjoy. In other words, Paul is saying that he enjoyed all of his infirmities, whether they were being reproached, or in need, or being persecuted and in distress for the sake of Christ. This statement to take pleasure in infirmities is the statement that only a mature believer could say. However, what does it mean to take pleasure in infirmities?
First, it means that God doesn’t remove the infirmities. One of the keywords in the verse above is “in.” This verse does not say outside of infirmities, but “in infirmities” is where he found pleasure. Too many people think that joy in life is found outside of hard times, but joy in life is found inside of life’s adversities.
Second, it means that it is a choice to take pleasure. To take something means that you had to act to take it. You can choose to take negativity and complaining through your adversities, or you can take pleasure in them by focusing on the presence of Christ. You can let your adversities take the enjoyment of life away, or you can choose to find enjoyment while you are going through the difficulties of life.
Third, it means that you cannot find pleasure in infirmities if you are not enduring them for the person of Christ. My friend, when you realize we serve a person and not a religion is when you are willing to go through anything to enjoy the person of Christ. Hardships and infirmities are experienced by all, but only the believer has the power to enjoy them through the power of Christ. How is it that you can take pleasure in infirmities?
First, you take pleasure by enjoying God’s grace. You don’t find God’s grace outside of the infirmity, but you discover it while you endure the infirmity. You will never know the pleasure and joy of God’s grace without suffering infirmities for Christ’s sake. The magnitude of God’s grace cannot be fully understood without enduring infirmities for His sake.
Second, you take pleasure by realizing it is through your weakness that you find the power of God on your life. Infirmities have a way of taking you to the end of your abilities, which then makes you rely on the power of Christ to do His work. The power of Christ on one’s life doesn’t come without a cost. God must send infirmities and hardships your way to bring you to the end of yourself so that you have to look up to Him to find the strength to make it through the difficulties. You will find it easy to enjoy the infirmities of life when you realize that it is those infirmities that brought God’s power on your life.
Third, you take pleasure by realizing the presence you enjoy in the infirmity. God is always near the believer, but the believer never sees His presence until they go through infirmities. You can have joy and pleasure in your infirmities if you will dwell on the presence of Christ instead of dwelling on the infirmity.