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For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10b (ESV)
“How strong are you?”
I asked my children this when they were young. They answered by showing off their little biceps.
But on my own journey from child to adult, I learned culture’s definition of what makes a person strong.
And I learned weakness comes in many shapes and sizes, like in these examples. Weight lifting proved my arms lacked physical strength. Low self-esteem, anxiety or discouragement labeled me a weak soul. And failure to excel in a class, understand a concept at work, or carry strong opinions, defined me as weak-minded.
Culture teaches us to stay strong and overcome weakness because it just isn’t pretty. Yet, in God’s Kingdom, weakness takes on a whole new meaning.
Paul’s visions and thorn in the flesh in 2 Corinthians 12, kept him from boasting in himself. He had endured many hardships and persecutions. Still, he learned to find his strength in his weakness.
Here’s the verse before our focal Scripture,
“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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV)
God’s calling all children of God, who keep trying and striving to obtain the things of God on our own or living the Christian life in our own strength, to rest in His power.
Here’s 3 ways weak equals strong:
- Weakness points to our need for a higher power. If we are always strong, we wouldn’t need God. If we are never weak, fall short or fail, we wouldn’t need a God who is all powerful or a Savior who’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. It’s supernatural strength for our natural weakness.
- Weakness reminds us that we have limits. Humans have limits. The Lord is limitless. Maybe we think we are the strong one to keep everyone else on track. Yet, who’s the strong one for us? The true One. Jesus. Or, we grow tired and weak from feeling like we never measure up, feeling like we are never enough. Here’s the thing: in Christ we are already enough, we are already strong in Him.
- Weakness reveals our insufficiency. Many times we take pride in thinking we are self-sufficient in our job, in life, and so on. Yet, we are never sufficient on our own. Not only do we need other people, but also God’s “grace is sufficient” for us. Then we face each day with renewed strength, but only through Christ.
Insert your name in the blank below and then read this passage from 2 Corinthians 12 out loud.
The Lord’s grace is sufficient for _________, for His power is made perfect in my weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Heavenly Father, Your grace is sufficient. Thank you that Your power is made perfect in my weakness. Amen.