It never ceases to amaze me when I encounter a passage from Scripture that speaks to my heart in one way one month and a completely different day another month. This time last month, I wrote a post called Anecdotes From a Faithful Wuss. The passage from 2 Corinthians encouraged me during a period of feeling like a wuss. I still do feel like a wuss a lot of times. I'm still a "Much-Afraid", but this month I've been chewing on this 2 Corinthians passage. It seems to keep popping up!
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)
Paul is writing to the Corinthian church. This is the end of his second letter, and he is sharing with them about a thorn in his flesh that keeps him from becoming conceited (2 Cor 12:7). He pleaded with the Lord to take the thorn away, but this passage is the Lord's response.
Paul does not have a literal thorn in his flesh, but the thorn is a nuisance, a struggle. The Lord responds to Paul's requests to remove the thorn by telling Paul that His grace is sufficient for Paul, because His power is made perfect in weakness.
God's power is made perfect in weakness? This sounds too good to be true, but it's not.
God's grace is sufficient, because His power is made perfect in weakness.
That's what the Lord tells Paul in response to Paul's request and struggle.
Ruminate (fancy word for deeply thinking about something) on this with me.
God's grace is sufficient for you.
Because His power is made perfect in weakness.
If you think like me, power and weakness shouldn't belong in the same sentence, but they do, and it's all because of God's grace.
God's grace is an integral part of God's power being made perfect in our weakness.
In fact, that's the essence of the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. We are weak and sinful. We're not perfect. Before a holy and perfect and powerful God, we don't stand a chance. But God sent Jesus, His perfect and holy Son, to earth to live a perfect human life, to die on a cross for our sins, and in doing so, exchanging our imperfections and weaknesses for his perfection and strength. But that wasn't all!
The same power that is made perfect in weakness was the power that resurrected Christ from the dead. Talk about power!
God's grace was in sending Jesus to die in the place of sinful man. If we believe in Jesus Christ, this grace is lavished on us. Jesus took our place. He took our sin and imperfections, and now God views us as He views Jesus, as perfect and spotless.
We will still sin in this life and experience weakness, but God's grace is sufficient. Meaning, his grace is enough.
This is why Paul concludes that he will boast in his weaknesses.
When we are weak, the power of Christ, the same power that brought Jesus Christ back from the dead, rests on us.
We're free to be weak. We can be content in weaknesses, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.
God's grace is sufficient, and it makes us strong when we are weak.
I haven't even scratched the surface of chewing on this passage. There is so much more to learn about God's grace and His sufficiency and how that affects my life and weaknesses.
But will you ruminate on this with me: the power of Christ rests on us in our weaknesses. I don't know about you, but that gives me a lot of hope when I am weak, fearful, or feeling like a wuss.
Bring on the weaknesses, because God's grace is sufficient, because His power is made perfect in weakness.
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She Laughs Without Fear