1. In II Corinthians 12 Paul talks about an incredible revelation he received from God. "I was caught up into the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether my body was there or just my spirit, I don't know; only God knows. But I do know that I was caught up into paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be told. That experience is something worth boasting about, but I am not going to do it."
2. Instead Paul chose to boast about his weaknesses. He describes that to keep from being conceited, he was "given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from getting proud."
3. Paul begged God to take this turmoil away. But the Lord merely said to him, "My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness."
4. Finally Paul could say, "I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." Did he finally quit asking God to take it away? Sounds like it.
5. I ask myself … a man who has told himself his whole life to pick himself up by his bootstraps and keep going … "Can it really be true that when I am weak and helpless and confused and mystified that then I am strong?"
6. Charlie Brown wins. The kingdom principles really do get turned upside down. The last will be first. The weak will be ahead of the strong. The poor will inherit the kingdom.
7. And in the end, the famous and derelicts are but a puff of wind.