I want to read you a passage about strength and weakness, but first a little background. It comes from Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth, one he planted, and as the story goes, some false apostles are trying to move in on his turf. Basically, people have seen the power of the gospel message in the lives of the believing community, and they want to usurp it.
We see this today, right? People trying to use the gospel to gain support of people and/or to support their own ideas and ideals. It boils down to people trying to gain power and influence by taking advantage of the power of the gospel.
But once again, we see how that view gets turned upside down and its not about the power at all. Here are Paul’s words.
“Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, 9 but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)
When I am weak, I am strong. It’s counterintuitive, but is so very true. Its in our greatest struggles that we see how strong we really are. It’s in our hardest trials that we finally see what we are made of. It’s when we feel as if we are ready to break…and my belief tells me its because those are the times we finally admit we cannot do it alone and we lean on God. There are limits to what we can do, but God has no limits, and when we trust in and lean on God we are stronger than we ever knew possible.
To clarify, this is not the same as taking on more and more responsibilities until your body finally gives out on you. This is not the same as trying to hold to an unreachable standard. This is not about achievement, measurement, success…no, this is about when things get hard, as we all have experienced, that we are not alone and in fact are far stronger than we ever believed. Not because of who we are, but because of who God is.