2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
My grace is sufficient for you
Do you ever feel like all the bad stuff happens to you? Do you feel like everything would be perfect if you could just change that one thing? Paul could relate. He had a very close relationship with God, and had gone through a lot of hardship for the Gospel. These are things Paul felt he could justifiably boast about if he wanted to, but the Lord had also given Paul a thorn in his side. Something that reminded him of his humanity. We’re not sure what that thorn was, some say it was a stammer, others have their own ideas. What we do know is that it kept Paul humble. It kept him looking to God as the source of all goodness, and it was the way he was able to reach most people. It was through his weaknesses that the Lord used him.
For my power is made perfect in weakness
Have you ever noticed that the people you grow closest to are the ones with whom you’ve shared your innermost secrets. Those you have share your intimate, deep thoughts are the one’s with whom you bond the most. In our Bible study on Tuesday nights, you sometimes will have someone share something that you can tell is very painful for them. They share it, not because it was a great experience or that they come out sounding important or great, but because they learned about the Lord through their experience. When these kinds of stories, that show our weaknesses, are shared, others can identify. We have all felt weak, helpless and at the Lord’s mercy. Sharing how the Lord worked through those times binds us together as believers.
Boasting about your weakness
Boasting about your weakness is a very unusual thing in our society. Americans are taught to filter out the bad stuff and only tell the good (most of the time). We don’t like to sound weak, and we don’t like others to judge us, so we avoid telling them about our alcoholism, our struggle with obesity, our pain from the loss of our unborn child, the hurt we feel when being abused by those who are supposed to love us. We don’t like people to know that we don’t have it all together. We often see the mom with three beautifully dressed kids and think we want her life. What we don’t know is all the pain she feels because she is in a loveless marriage or the debt they’re incurring because of her overspending. We don’t know about what’s really going on with others, they’re trying to put their best foot forward, just as we are most of the time.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.
How can we delight in these things? When we live our lives to bring God the glory, our weaknesses, the insults, hardships and difficulties are all opportunities for the world to see us respond differently than those who do not believe. We’re able to point our lives back to God, resting on His assurance to us that His grace, given to us by Jesus’ death on the cross, is sufficient for us. We can trust that all things will work for the good of them that love God (Romans 8:28), and that we will one day be with Him in heaven. This is our hope and our future. Spending eternity with our Lord who loves us and uses our weaknesses to draw others to Him and to increase the depths of our relationships with others.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
We are strong when we are weak, because when we are weak, we submit ourselves to the Lord’s will. We no longer are looking out for ourselves, but turn our eyes towards the Lord for our salvation in the moment and for eternity. And knowing where you’re going to be for eternity strengthens us and gives us hope. We are encouraged, strengthened and can persevere. We grow closer to others and the Lord through all of these humbling, weak moments.
Are you weak or strong?