2 Corinthians 12:5
“Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.”
When I hear the word “infirmities,” I think of an infirmary. The college I attended had an infirmary where you would go when you were sick and needed doctor’s care. Most of the time the doctor would prescribe medicine for those who were sick, but every once in a while he would make a student stay in the infirmary because the student was too sick to stay in their dorm room.
The “infirmities” mentioned in the verse above is something that weakens the believer. This infirmity is not a sin, but it is something that brings persecution to your life, or weakens your flesh’s ability to do what you would like to do, or it causes great distress to your life, or it brings reproach or embarrassment to your name. Everyone will deal with infirmities in their life. Some must carry a disease or sickness in their body for the remainder of their lives. Others will have issues arise in their personal life that seems to change their “perfect” world. Additionally, some will have to endure persecution. In all of these things, God says that the believer can glory in them, or take pleasure in them. How can the believer take pleasure in their infirmities?
First, infirmities reveal your weaknesses to you. You will find that your infirmity will expose weaknesses in your life that you didn’t know you had. This is a good thing because it allows you to work on strengthening those areas.
Second, infirmities remind you I am flesh. Infirmities have a way of keeping you humble because they remind you that you are flesh. The more that God uses a person, the more the infirmity is important so that they don’t think more highly than they should think. You may not like your infirmity, but it daily reminds you that you are flesh and that you need God in your life.
Third, infirmities drive you to prayer. Paul’s infirmity drove him to pray and ask God to remove it. Anything that drives you to prayer is good. If your infirmity makes you walk with God more, that is a good thing. Yes, we should pray more without the infirmity, but the infirmity shows us our need of God which drives us to our knees to look up to God for His strength in prayer.
Fourth, infirmities let you experience God’s grace. God told Paul that His grace was sufficient. In other words, God’s grace was the “pain killer” that allowed him to endure his infirmity. You will never truly understand God’s grace until God gives you an infirmity. Many think that God’s grace is only for salvation, but that is not true. God’s grace is the “pain killer” that dulls the affliction of your infirmity. God’s grace doesn’t remove your infirmity, but it allows the believer to carry their infirmity with a right spirit.
Fifth, infirmities allow you to get God’s power. Paul’s infirmity is what allowed the power of Christ to rest upon him, and your infirmity is one of the greatest tools that God can use to empower you. My friend, you will find God’s power is more evident in your life when you accept that God’s grace is all you need to endure your infirmities.
Sixth, infirmities make you stronger. One of the greatest things about your infirmity is that it will make you a stronger Christian. Don’t despair because you have an infirmity, but take pleasure in the fact that it makes you stronger through Christ.