His Strength in Your Weakness
... my power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9)
If you want others to see Christ in you, they need to see your weakness, not your strength. It is our need for Christ that draws others to Him—not our self-sufficiency. God extends His grace generously to those who choose to be humble (James 4:6). But sometimes God has to allow us to experience humbling circumstances to see our need for His grace and power.
The apostle Paul was given a special opportunity where he was taken up to paradise and heard ‘inexpressible things”. To keep him from boasting about this experience Paul says he was given a thorn in the flesh to torment him. While he begged for God to remove it, He didn’t. Therefore Paul says he would boast all the more gladly about his weakness “ so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Paul wanted his own strength to decrease so the strength of Christ could increase.
How many times have you experienced a thorn in your own flesh? Maybe your pride took a beating, a friend hurt you, an illness slowed you down, a fear of future circumstances paralyzed you . . . . Accept that thorn from God. Every time we realize we are not in control, we are reminded Who is.
The only way to experience the power of Christ is to come to the very end of everything in “self.” Be careful if you have experienced a spiritual achievement or opportunity from God. It’s possible a humbling circumstance could follow. But when life becomes too hard to bear, how sweet it is to fall into the loving arms of the Father’s embrace. As we let lose of everything that we normally hold on to (reputation, achievement, pride) and cling to God’s sufficiency and grace, others will be encouraged to see Him as their resource as well. How wonderful our God is who keeps us weak enough that we might grow in the sufficiency of Christ—and not in our own.
Every time you have receive a thorn, remember that roses grow in the midst of thorns. Yet it is the beauty of the rose that captures our attention. The Gardener knows that the thorns are a necessary part of bringing forth beauty.
Heavenly Father, Remind me that I need to fear my strength more than my weakness. Help me to glory in Christ’s strength in the midst of my humbling circumstances. Amen