When God has a Plan for our Weakness
“Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)
“What if God is inviting you to serve out of your weakness instead of your strength?”
We were sitting on a saggy couch surrounded by clamoring kids when my friend posed the question.
Our preschoolers were singing, and our toddlers were shrieking. The baby on my lap was whimpering, and the phone in my purse was ringing. But those words soared above the clatter and landed in my heart with quiet clarity.
I’d been offered an opportunity to serve the Lord in a new way, and I felt completely unqualified for the challenge. The position didn’t line up with my natural gifting or maximize my strengths. It didn’t plant me in my sweet spot or ignite my personal passions.
Yet, after weeks of prayer, I felt like God was asking me to say yes to the assignment. I wanted to walk in obedience, but it didn’t make much sense. I could think of a dozen other people more equipped for the challenge.
Then my friend’s wise words reminded me of a truth I don’t often consider:
God has a script for our strengths, but He also has a plan for our weaknesses.
That thought is uncomfortable, don’t you think?
We’d rather build God’s kingdom through our gifts, not our gaps.
We’d prefer to serve our Savior from our savvy, not our shortcomings.
Yet, in today’s key verse, we’re reminded that when our weaknesses are infused with God’s grace, they don’t foil His plans. Instead, they frame His power.
“Each time he said ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
My friend’s words were running through my mind as we followed the kids to the backyard where a swing set beckoned their play.
My 4-year-old daughter climbed on the swings while her 6-year-old brother climbed to the top of the monkey bars.
We all applauded as he glided across the silver rungs with ease.
My daughter watched with wide eyes, then climbed up the ladder and reached for those monkey bars, too.
She took hold of the first bar and let her slender frame dangle free. She shrieked with delight and stretched to take hold of the next rung. She kicked her legs and wiggled her hips, but the bar exceeded her reach. Instead of gliding across the monkey bars, she merely dangled, stuck.
Soon, her little arms grew tired, and her lips began to tremble. “I guess I can’t do it,” she whimpered.
In an instant, her big brother was at her side. He wrapped his arms around her swaying torso and steadied her flailing frame. “It’s okay,” he soothed. “I’m right here. Try again.”
With her brother’s hands holding her up, my girl crossed the monkey bars with a yelp of joy. When she dropped to the ground, she stepped back and studied her brother with 4-year-old admiration. “I never knew you were so strong!” she declared with a sigh of wonder.
We laughed as my son took a sheepish bow.
My friend caught my eye with a wordless wink, and I returned her gaze with a knowing nod. Right then and there, I gave God my humble yes.
Perhaps God was asking me to serve in weakness so I could more fully know His strength.
Maybe He was inviting me out of my comfort zone so I could find my comfort in Him alone.
I didn’t know where my yes would lead, but I knew I’d been called to trust in God’s sufficiency, not mine.
It still felt awkward. And vulnerable. Frightening and risky. But I knew God was asking for my surrender, not my strength. And I knew His arms would hold me every step of the way.
My daughter was climbing back up that silver ladder, her hands reaching for the monkey bars once again. And right below, her brother stood with a giddy grin and arms lifted high.
Dear Jesus, thank You for inviting me to partner with the King of Heaven, even when my knees are quaking here on earth. Take all of me — my weaknesses and my strengths — to use for Your story and for Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Strength and Weakness
By: Harvey Blink, today.reframemedia.com
Scripture Reading — 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
When I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10 —
The Corinthian church thought about strength in much the same way we do today. They assumed that believers are to be strong and should show their strength in demonstrations of power. That assumption was encouraged by the teachings of false apostles who claimed superiority to Paul and who derided him for his apparent weaknesses. The foundation of Paul’s apostleship was being attacked by members of the congregation who demanded signs and wonders. They claimed that anyone who wanted to provide leadership in the church needed first to prove their power.
We assume that strength and weakness are opposites. We think that first we are to be as strong as we can be on our own, and then we need to add God’s strength. On a good day, we think we can do all that needs to be done. On a poor day, we may need some help from God.
But Paul suggests that the relationship between strength and weakness is much more complex. In fact, as he learned from the Lord, God’s strength is revealed through our own weakness.
Paul had many reasons to boast, but he counted all those things as nothing for the sake of Christ’s excellence and strength.
Where is your strength found? Have you discovered the power of God’s strength through weakness?
Father, may your great strength show itself in our weakness as we let go and see your power at work. Help us trust you to do amazing things by your strength. Amen
Our Weakness Reveals His Worth
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”(2 Corinthians 12:9)
God’s design for suffering is that it should magnify Christ’s worth and power. This is grace, because the greatest joy of Christians is to experience Christ magnified in our lives.
When Paul was told by the Lord Jesus that his “thorn in the flesh” would not be taken away, he supported Paul’s faith by explaining why. The Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). God ordains that Paul be weak so that Christ might be seen as strong on Paul’s behalf.
If we feel and look self-sufficient, we will get the glory, not Christ. So, Christ chooses the weak things of the world “so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1 Corinthians 1:29). And sometimes he makes seemingly strong people weaker, so that the divine power will be the more evident.
We know that Paul experienced this as grace because he rejoiced in it: “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 with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9–10).
Living by faith in God’s grace means being satisfied with all that God is for us in Jesus. Therefore faith will not shrink back from what reveals and magnifies all that God is for us in Jesus. That is what our own weakness and suffering are meant to do.