December 6 (Daily reading: 2 Corinthians 10-13) Paul challenged the Corinthians: “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you?” (13:5, NIV). As he wrote to them about their multiple problems, he told them to put everything to the test. If they were in the faith, if Christ was in them, God would lead them to be the people He wanted them to be. This is a challenge you must accept for yourself. When you look at your daily life, your family, your church, your job, your relationships—all will be good if you pass the test! When you know that Jesus Christ is in you, and that He is your Lord: “the God of love and peace will be with you” (13:11).
We sometimes ask a flippant question: “And how is that working out for you?” Paul gave us a personal testimony to show how this kind of self-examination had worked out for him. He had suffered greatly for the cause of Christ, but God gave him some divine revelations that he could not even describe. To keep him from feeling exalted over these visions, God gave him “a thorn in the flesh” (12:7). As Paul examined himself, he pled with the Lord to remove the affliction in his body. God answered: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (12:9). Paul discovered that Christ was not only in him, but He was in him with power! The weakness brought on by his affliction magnified the power of Christ in him! He could live with his affliction and all other difficulties, “for when I am weak, then I am strong” (12:10). His struggles led him to a deeper experience of the power of Christ. And so may it be with each of us!
– Al Gary