Read: 2 Cor 11:16-12:10
“My power works best in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
The apostle Paul here brags about all that he has suffered for the gospel and about his weaknesses. He is trying to appeal to the Corinthian Church to not be led astray by false teachers, and is “proving” his credibility and authority by how much he has sacrificed and how much God has worked through Him in spite of his weaknesses.
In the midst of presenting his case Paul pens these words that God spoke to him, “My power works best in weakness.” These may be some of the most profound words ever written and certainly counterintuitive to our world.
In the economy of our world power is king. Power and strength win the day and showing weakness is to be avoided at all costs. But in God’s economy, it’s when we don’t have what it takes that He can do his best work through us. When we try to muscle through on our own strength we block God’s power and strength from shining through.
For me this is great news, because there are so many areas of my life and ministry that I am not strong in. I need God to come through. I pray for God to do for me what I can’t do on my own and even in my suffering I see God’s power at work all around me.
In the end, I don’t think strength and competency are bad things. Paul was strong and competent in many areas. I don’t think hard work is something to be avoided. Paul worked tirelessly for the sake of Christ. But embracing our weaknesses and surrendering our strengths to God and inviting Him to be strong in all of it is the way to go. I long to see the life and ministry that God will build in His power, not mine.
And at the end of the day my weaknesses and suffering aren’t things to hate about myself, but are opportunities for God to shine through in even bigger ways – so I can join Paul in saying, “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
Jesus – help me to be at peace with my weaknesses and to surrender to your power working through me. Let the adventure begin. It’s in your name I pray, amen.