God Uses Satan [2 Corinthians 12]
7Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--to keep me from exalting myself!8Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness " Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.10Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9 is one of my favorite verses because it clearly shows the grace exchange and reinforces that we are better off in our weaknesses because if we embrace them as from the Lord, they can drive us to be strong in the Lord by exchanging what we have, weaknesses, for what God has, strength. Too many people blame everything they don't like on Satan, as if He had unending power over them. The truth is that Satan's power is limited by God in the lives of His children. Satan is God's puppet. He can do no more and no less than God commands and no more or less than we invite him to do in our lives under God's constraints.
How do we invite Satan to wreak havoc in our lives? We do this by letting our natural feelings and thoughts drive our behavior. It feels normal to complain about our situation and to blame it on someone else (often Satan), but that doesn't lead us to God and His ways.It is when we recognize that God is the source of the situation to keep us humble, to grow us and to shine through us, and we run to Him to exchange our natural feelings and thoughts for His wisdom and strength that we are letting the power of Christ dwell in us.
We praise You, God, for giving us the thorns we need to stay humble and running to You for Your awesome sufficient grace. Please keep us mindful that You are totally in charge of every situation and that those situations are designed to drive us to You in our weaknesses so You can be strong in us through Christ.