Being Weak is Not Always a Bad Thing
Who has not felt their weakness at times in life, especially within the past 18 months? Physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually, many have gone through periods of weakness.
The apostle Paul experienced some kind of "thorn in the flesh" (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) in order to keep him humble. We are unsure what this thorn was. Perhaps some kind of physical affliction? Perhaps some person who caused Paul difficulty? Perhaps something else?
After asking the Lord three times to remove it, the Lord told Paul "My grace is sufficient for you; for my strength is made perfect in weakness."
That is not the answer we usually want to hear from God. When we are afflicted with anything, we want it gone, and gone now!
Or we immediately pray that we could be stronger and get through it.
But Paul's experience here clues us into another avenue of response. Remaining weak.
While other passages indicate the appropriateness of praying for strength at times, this passage in 2 Corinthians 12 reminds us that it is also in our times of weakness where the power of Christ is manifest more and more in us.
I have experienced a period of spiritual weakness and difficulty. I asked another seasoned pastor for wisdom and counsel, and his words were helpful. Something like "self-sufficient people are exactly that: SELF-sufficient."
My sufficiency in times of weakness cannot be in me. It must always be in Christ.
Jesus told Paul, "my strength is made perfect in weakness."
Paul responded, "therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ then, I am content [or I will take pleasure in] with weaknesses...for when I am weak, then am I strong."
Personal weakness is not always a bad place to be. None of us can claim the kind of thorn that Paul endured, but the principle of the passage is important for all of us.
Our weakness, our insufficiency, our lack of ability is not something to complain about; it is something to boast about, for in our weakness, Christ and his power can be that much more prominent in our lives.
It is one thing to resign ourselves to certain situations; it is another to resolve to merely get through them. But I would urge us, as God has urged me, to rejoice in our times of weakness, so that we can allow the power of God to rest upon us, to work through us, and to shape us into the image of Christ for his glory. That is true strength.