Weakness Good? Now Way!!
Our culture prizes strength. In the physical sense, we see it in the athletes we admire and the shows we devour like American Ninja Warrior. When it comes to courage, as it’s displayed in our military and those who valiantly fight diseases and addictions. We even value emotional strength which can be seen through the inaccurate yet tightly held belief that real men don’t cry. Weakness is looked down on. It’s frowned upon and even wrongly considered a legitimate reason to harm or take advantage of others. But can weakness be good? Our society says, “No way!!” Our Lord sees it differently.
The apostle Paul had an ongoing struggle with something. The Bible doesn’t tell us what, but we know it was big and impacted his life. He pleaded with Jesus to take it away. This was Christ’s answer, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (II Cor 12:9a ESV).
Probably not what Paul anticipated or hoped to hear. He wanted the Lord to remove it, to heal and restore him. We might expect the apostle to share his disappointment with God since we know we can say anything to the Almighty. But this was Paul’s response: …Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me (II Cor 12:9b ESV).
So God said, “No,” which meant more suffering for Paul. But instead of continuing to ask the Lord to remove his weakness, he decides to brag about it? How can that be? Because the apostle got it. He understood the answer to his prayer and embraced it. We must too.
The ongoing grace Christ was extending to him would enable Paul to keep going, to rise above it, to do all God had for him. And it was in the apostle’s weakness that the power of the Almighty would be most clearly seen and experienced. If we could grab hold of these truths, how much more willingly and graciously would we endure the trials and hardships we face? We could then proclaim with Paul: 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. (II Cor 12:9b-10 ESV)
Can weakness be good? You bet it can! Not only good, but empowering and life-changing when we rely on God’s strength instead of whatever we can muster.
Just something I know is true and am trusting in along the way.