In typical Jesus style, He turns weakness on its head when He says to Paul "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (Part of our memory verse for this Sunday from 2 Corinthians 12:9) This goes against everything we want to believe.
- I have mistakenly believed: Christians don't get sick, but if they do, and they pray enough, they get healed. Fact: Christians do get sick - and don't always get healed. Jesus was talking to Paul in the above verse. We don't know exactly what Paul's infirmity was, but it must have been bad enough for him to ask God three times to take it away. Jesus was pretty clear that He wasn't going to heal Paul.
- I have mistakenly believed: There is no point to suffering. Fact: There is a point to suffering. First, Paul realizes that his illness was given to him to keep him from being conceited (12:7) In verse 9, Jesus plans to use Paul's sickness as a way to show His divine power. He was not going to take Paul out of this suffering, He was going to enable Paul to get through it.
- I have mistakenly believed: Weakness should not be tolerated. Fact: We must realize that without Christ, we are weak, but once saved by grace and filled with the Holy Spirit, we have a supernatural strength that enables us to accomplish great things for the glory of God. Any weakness we then experience is signal to turn to God and look to Him for His power.
So there is a power struggle when we feel weak. We either give in and do something in our own strength so we feel less ashamed (because, after all, it is all about us and how we look to everyone), or we admit we are unable to accomplish the task before us and find Christ's power resting on us. Someone is going to get the glory. The question is who?