‘If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.’ — 2 Corinthians 11:30
The Corinthians were in the midst of a Satanic battle. False apostles, deceitful workers, ministers of Satan had infiltrated the church at Corinth. They looked like angels of light (v.13-15). They came with subtlety (v.3) and smooth speech (v.6). From a human standpoint, they had the right credentials (v.18).
Yet, God through Paul reveals a whole different set of credentials that they were missing – their sufferings. Just as Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, Paul gloried in his weaknesses and his sufferings for Christ.
While an unbeliever, Paul came to Damascus with letters of authority. After coming to faith, he left Damascus in a basket (v.32-33). These false apostles came with letters of authority (3:1). They had yet to learn that it is suffering, weakness, and infirmity that qualifies the servant of Christ.
So, what are we glorying in? Our strengths or our weaknesses? Our living or our dying? Our wealth and health or our poverty and sickness for the cause of Christ? Our ability to please men and enjoy the good life or the times we have picked up our cross and went off to die?
For Paul, it was clear. If he was going to glory, which he admits was a foolish thing to do, it was going to be in his weaknesses. And may God help us to be willing to pick up our cross once again today and head off to die – die to ourselves, die to our pride, die to this world!