Weakness isn’t always a bad thing, for it reminds us to lean on God’s strength.

BibleGateway: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

ESV Text: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

2 Corinthians 12:1–10 (Listen)

Paul’s Visions and His Thorn

12:1 I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses—though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,1 a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 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.

Footnotes

[1] 12:7 Or hears from me, even because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations. So to keep me from becoming conceited

(ESV)


KJV Text:

The section starts at about 0:0 and ends at about 1:44

     1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. 6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 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.(KJV)


Hymn: TLH 534 :
God of My Life, to Thee I Call

Hymnary.org — Organ Audio

1. God of my life, to Thee I call; 
Afflicted, at Thy feet I fall; 
When the great water-floods prevail, 
Leave not my trembling heart to fall. 

2. Friend of the friendless and the faint, 
Where should I lodge my deep complaint? 
Where but with Thee, whose open door 
Invites the helpless and the poor? 

3. Did ever mourner plead with Thee 
And Thou refuse that moumer’s plea? 
Does not the word still fixed remain 
That none shall seek Thy face in vain? 

4. Fair is the lot that’s cast for me; 
I have an Advocate with Thee. 
They whom the world caresses most 
Have no such privilege to boast. 

5. Poor though I be, despised, forgot, 
Yet God, my God, forgets me not; 
And he is safe and must succeed 
For whom the Lord vouchsafes to plead. 

6. Then hear, O Lord, my humble cry 
And bend on me Thy pitying eye. 
To Thee their prayer Thy people make: 
Hear us for our Redeemer’s sake. 


Hymn: WS 789 :
Consider How the Birds Above

Hymnary.org


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Oh how we long for heaven!

BibleGateway: 2 Corinthians 5:1-10

ESV Text: 2 Corinthians 5:1-10

2 Corinthians 5:1–10 (Listen)

Our Heavenly Dwelling

5:1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on1 we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

Footnotes

[1] 5:3 Some manuscripts putting it off

(ESV)


KJV Text:

The section starts at about 0:0 and ends at about 1:21

     1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.(KJV)


Hymn: TLH 660 (LSB 748):
I’m But a Stranger Here

Hymnary.org — Organ Audio

1. I’m but a stranger here, 
Heav’n is my home; 
Earth is a desert drear, 
Heav’n is my home. 
Danger and sorrow stand 
Round me on every hand; 
Heav’n is my fatherland, 
Heav’n is my home. 

2. What though the tempest rage, 
Heav’n is my home; 
Short is my pilgrimage, 
Heav’n is my home; 
And time’s wild wintry blast 
Soon shall be overpast; 
I shall reach home at last, 
Heav’n is my home. 

3. There at my Savior’s side 
Heav’n is my home; 
I shall be glorified, 
Heav’n is my home; 
There are the good and blest, 
Those I love most and best; 
And there I, too, shall rest, 
Heav’n is my home. 

4. Therefore I murmur not, 
Heav’n is my home; 
Whate’er my earthly lot, 
Heav’n is my home; 
And I shall surely stand 
There at my Lord’s right hand. 
Heav’n is my fatherland, 
Heav’n is my home.