How God’s Power is Perfected in Weakness

How God’s Power is Perfected in Weakness May 15, 2024

Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to torment me so that I would not exalt myself. Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times that it would leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:7b-9a (CSB)

 

This is one of those Bible passages that is really hard to understand until you have lived through it. We all get our turn though. Some of us need humbling (sheepishly raises hand) because we try to do everything under our own power. Some of us need encouraging because we see our weakness as a handicap.

In both cases, this is where God ‟shows up” in the most obvious way.

 

Strength in Weakness

 

OK, nerd alert. I still play Pokémon Go. It´s something to do to avoid looking at the same boring small-town scenery day after day while I walk my dog. And I walk my dog a lot, so as a result, I am a level 40 Pokémon Master.

Selfie of author with Machamp
Aren’t you impressed? (Photo Copyright 2024 Truth Mission)

You don´t get to level 40 without learning the strengths and weaknesses of the various types of Pokémon. If a Normal type comes at me, I am going to respond with a Fighting type, because that is a Normal type´s weakness. As such, the strengths of my Machamp are on display when I put my opponent´s Snorlax back to sleep with a Dynamic Punch attack.

 

Some days we feel like a Machamp, but other days, we feel more like a Pidgey in a room full of Rhyperiors. However, as it turns out, God does his best work with the Pidgeys.

 

Excuses for Disobedience

 

Have you ever used the Pidgey excuse when God calls you to do something you don´t want to do? ‟God can´t possibly use me to take over that gym. I´m just a Pidgey.”

 

Well then, why do you pray?

 

You go to God in prayer because you KNOW you are a Pidgey and because you also know that God is a Mega Charizard with Blast Burn.

 

Therefore, what does it matter that you aren´t strong enough to handle a challenge on your own? You´re not supposed to. Your strength comes from God. Either He will work through you or on your behalf. All you have to do is keep your weak self out of His way.

 

You do that by simply obeying His call. You don´t have to know HOW God is going to make things work out. You just have to show up. You´re not going to beat Team Rocket with a Pidgey, but your Mega Charizard can handle them just fine. But you still have to show up for the battle.

 

What are your weaknesses?

 

Some of the things we aren´t good at are skills we can learn and develop over time. But sometimes, it´s just the way we´re built. The key is recognizing the difference.

 

Sometimes we don´t want to admit what our weaknesses are because that makes us look…well…weak. I would submit, however, that the only way we can consistently play to our strengths is to know what things aren´t those.

 

Here are some of mine:

 

  • Follow-through
  • Finishing what I start
  • Pleasure-seeking
  • Concentration
  • Temper
  • Slave to Habits
  • Short-term memory
  • Arthritis

 

I know these are my weaknesses because these are the things I make excuses about. If you´ve ever said, ‟I can´t, because…” then that´s what´s on your weak list.

 

How is God glorified through our weaknesses?

 

When we invite God to the party, our weaknesses can actually become more effective than our strengths. It is through our weakness that God has an opportunity to show off. When we do something that everyone knows there´s no way we could have managed it on our own, then God gets the credit. This glorifies His name in our eyes and in the eyes of observers as well.

 

Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9b-10 (CSB)

 

Wait a minute. Taking pleasure in calamities? Doesn´t that seem like a bit much?

 

Depends on what you mean by pleasure. My motto for 2024 has been ‟Cultivate Contentedness.” A big part of contentedness involves just taking life as it comes. After all, life´s gonna life, weather´s gonna weather, Satan´s gonna Satan, etc. Jesus never promised us a trouble-free existence. He just promised that He would be with us through it.

 

From Excuses to Prayers

 

So if God is going to do all the heavy lifting, then what is our part?

 

I would say that the best thing we can do to glorify God through our weakness is to turn our excuses (which are about us) into prayers (which are about Him). These prayers only need to be single sentences of surrender. They might sound like this:

 

  • God, I give you my lack of integrity so that the world may know that you are faithful.
  • I give you my hypocrisy so the world may know that you are constant and true.
  • I give you my dopamine addiction so that you can show me greater pleasures than the ones I settle for.
  • I give you my temper so that you can show me what peace looks like.
  • I give you my bad habits so you can give me new ones to replace them.
  • I give you my short-term memory issues so you can help me focus on what´s eternal.
  • But most of all, I give you my pride so the world will see more of you and less of me.

 

 

(Funny I should mention ‟pride.” You know what´s coming up, don´t you? If you´re brave enough to see what I´ve got planned for this weekend, click on the Free Newsletter link. Fair warning—I may lose some of you on this one.)

 

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