Pleasure in…

2Corinthians 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. 

‘Infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake.’ Five phases of Paul’s sufferings: [1] Infirmities [Greek: astheneia] want of strength; weakness; infirmity, which means a moral, mental, or physical weakness or flaw. Used of the utter helplessness of the body in death (1Cor. 15:43; 2Cor. 13:4); infirmity of the body (Matt. 8:17; Luke 5:15; 8:2; 13:11-12; John 5:5; 11:4; Acts 28:9; 1Tim. 5:23); weakness of ability as a nation to cope with more powerful forces in war (Heb. 11:34); weakness of human nature (Rom. 6:19; 8:26; Gal. 4:13; Heb. 4:15; 5:2; 7:28); weakness of human ability (1Cor. 2:3); Paul’s weakness and helplessness before satan’s angel (11:30; 12:5, 9-10). Paul had a special power to heal diseases even up to the last days we read of him (Acts 19:11; 28:1-9) so his infirmities was not a disease. [2] Reproaches [Greek: hubris] insults; reproaches (12:10); hurt (Acts 27:10); and harm (Acts 27:21). [3] Necessities [Greek: anangke] necessities (12:10; 6:4; 9:7; 1Cor. 7:37; 9:16; Phm. 1:14; Heb. 7:12; 9:16, 23); distress (Luke 21:23; 1Cor. 7:26). [4] Persecutions [Greek: diogmos] persecutions (12:10; Matt. 13:21; Mark 4:17; 10:30; Acts 8:1; 13:50; Rom. 8:35; 2Thess. 1:4; 2Tim. 3:11). [5] Distresses [Greek: stenochoria] distresses (12:10; 6:4; Rom. 8:35) and anguish (Rom. 2:9). These five classes of sufferings constitute the buffeting of Paul by the angel of satan which was his thorn (12:7-10).

‘Then am I strong’ – When Paul was attacked by the angel of satan, then he looks for the grace promised by God (12:9). He gets it and is strong in the power of God (12:10). The power of Christ rests upon him like a tent or tabernacle, affording him shelter and rest (12:9).

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