May 20, 2020

“But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 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.” – 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10

Weakness is a big weakness in our society. No one wants to appear weak, to be the pushover, to admit or reveal their flaws. From physical strength to sharp business acumen, there’s something about being strong, confident, and in control that exudes success.  So, how can the Apostle Paul be “content with weaknesses?” How can he gladly brag about his faults? If anything, we are taught to hide our flaws. So, this just doesn’t make sense.

The Bible defines the call to follow Jesus as living by faith (Ephesians 2: 8-9). This means choosing to surrender control.  It means acknowledging a need for someone else. It means admitting that we cannot do it alone.  Living by faith means trusting in someone other than ourselves.

Some might be thinking: This sounds an awful lot like weakness, not courage. After all, the bravest people don’t need anyone, right? Not according to God’s word. The Bible says that living by faith demands a strength far greater than our own. Think about it. Doesn’t it take an incredible amount of faith to admit that you need help, that you can’t do it alone?

In Joshua 1:9, God challenges Joshua to “be strong and courageous” in the face of fear and self-doubt. In this case, God’s not talking about becoming physically stronger and pushing himself to be braver than everyone else. To be strong and courageous is to acknowledge his need for God and to place his faith in God’s strength. The same is true for us. In the end, it was never supposed to be about our individual strengths but choosing to trust in God’s. It’s about trusting in a God-given strength even when we feel weak.

Adapted from a sermon by Senior Pastor George Wright, Shandon Baptist Church, SC