Weakness

There’s a verse in the Bible that says that God’s power is made strong in weakness.  Shortly afterward, the author of the book (2 Corinthians), cheerfully announces that he is strong when he is weak.

For quite some time, these verses frustrated me, because that makes no logical sense.  If you’re weak, you’re weak, right?  And if you’re strong, you’re strong.  How can you be both at the same time?!

In my case, God chose to take a hands-on lesson with this one.

I believe I’d had the mentality that I was just this really awesome person crediting God.  So I’m walking down the street, being good and things like that, and people are thinking “Wow, you’re doing great!” and I respond, “Oh, it’s all God!”

The problem with this mentality is that it makes it seem as though I am the one who made myself strong, or good, or faithful, or that I taught myself that really difficult lesson, when actually quite the contrary occurs.  I am the student, not the Teacher.  I am the servant, not the Master.  God’s participation in the entire ordeal is so much more than just a flippant “Oh yeah, and God helped!”

Instead, God brought me to a time when I was weak, when I was hurting, when I was confused… but I still had responsibilities going on.  I couldn’t just drop everything and wait until I “made myself” awesome/cool/good/helpful again.  I was weak.  But God is always, always strong.

1 Corinthians 1:25 says that God’s weakness is stronger than man’s strength.  So imagine the contrast between my weakness and His strength.  It’s rather great.

What I learned here is that when you’re weak, when you’re empty- that’s the greatest opportunity for God to show His strength, which, as stated before, is much more powerful than our strength, let alone our weakness.

So when I’m struggling through the week, when I’m crying ,when I’m hurting, when I’m weak, God is filling me up and radiating His strength through me.  And there’s no way I can claim that it’s my doing.

That being said, I don’t think we’re called to be in a constant state of deep pain and desperation.  I don’t believe God’s constantly beating us down so He can feel cool.  He is a loving and just God, after all.  But when we are in those times of weakness, we learn several things (though this list is not exhaustive).  We learn to trust.  We learn to be patient.  We learn to persevere.  But quite importantly, we learn humility.

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 
 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!

“Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

What happened when the Son of God humbled Himself?  Basically, God used Him to save the world.  He “made Himself nothing,” and He lovingly saved an undeserving world.

May our attitudes be the same as His, that God may radiate His strength through us.

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4 thoughts on “Weakness

  1. Just wanted to say one little thing…
    Light does not struggle to overcome darkness…
    Once we are His, there is no struggle to BE anything more than what He has already done to us and for us through Christ, and we need not ‘try’ to ‘please’ God.

    I just hope you know there is no struggle against sin once you are His – sin was conquered over 2000 years ago… Our ‘struggle’ now is simply to learn to know Him better – to ‘renew our mind’ as to who we are now in Him – and that is a ‘light burden’ indeed.

    So relax and enjoy Him! He came to give LIFE – not burdensome struggles… :o)

    • I agree that we can never become more than who we are in Christ and that none of our deeds alone can please God.

      However, right now, we’re still sinful, even though God has forgiven us, so I don’t think we can just sit back and keep going the way we’re going without allowing God to change slowly change us, sometimes in ways that are painful. And as we get to know Him better, we also get to know ourselves better, and we see sins that we need to change. If you have a problem with a particular sin when you become a Christian, yes, God has forgiven you, but you still need to work to overcome that sin. Part of becoming a Christian is repenting of your sin- turning away from it.

      That being said, God has definitely already won the battle, and I just have the opportunity to be on His side and let Him use me throughout this time.

      • …the only thing you mention that I think needs to be carefully considered is the subtle difference between “…we are still sinful…” and “…we still sin…”.

        The difference is your ‘condition’.

        Christians are not ‘sinful’ — if they are then that nullifies what Christ did. Christians live in a continuous state of HAVING BEEN forgiven… There is therefore no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus! (none — ever — how liberating!!!!!!)

        The fact that Christians still sin is not to be the focus! It is the fact that Jesus already took care of all sin – past present and future. By being ‘focused’ on the sin – we become distracted from what matters… …the relationship with him…

      • That subtle difference is something that I hadn’t considered.
        I completely agree with what you said when you said, “Christians live in a continuous state of HAVING BEEN forgiven… There is therefore no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus! (none — ever — how liberating!!!!!!)”
        And while I agree that it perhaps should not be the focus of our relationship with Christ, we also need to be aware of it. We’re forgiven, but as people, we still mess up sometimes. Those mistakes shouldn’t be dwelt upon, but they shouldn’t be completely ignored, either. I feel that part of our relationship with Christ, which we should indeed be focusing on, is being aware of the sins we are committing and working to overcome them, “pressing on,” as Paul says, to be more Christlike while we’re in this awkward state of sinning, but being forgiven.

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