2 Corinthians 12:9 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
What resolutions did you make for the new year? We may make resolutions focused on schedules, health, and finances. But what drives us to make resolutions? If we’re honest, perhaps there’s a sense of self-deficiency, or weakness within us. But what if that weakness we are striving to get rid of is actually meant to be there? What if what we perceive to be our failures are preparation for God’s glory?
The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians about a thorn in his flesh, which he pleaded God to remove. Perhaps this was a spiritual struggle with his physical nature that was bothering him, and he couldn’t shake it. God responded, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9).
This can be a difficult concept for us to process. First, our ideas of hard-earned success seem to be a moving target. No matter how we progress, we could always strive for more strength, more success.
Second, we would love for God to take away all our temptations. That would be much easier than having to resist them. We must accept that God may choose to leave us in our state of weakness. Yet, He promises to never leave us alone. He’s with us through it.
The logical next step you may be asking yourself is: Why? Why would God not want me to be strong? Couldn’t I do more for God if I were stronger, better at managing life, or even wealthier?
The answer rests in the second half of verse 9, “…Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” The POWER OF CHRIST may rest upon me. The power of the Almighty One who created the heavens and the earth. That’s infinitely better than any self-effort. And most of all, we gain the experience of relationship with our Creator.
The mission statement for HolyEverAfter is “Overcoming the world through Christ.” I believe this is key, to honestly understand and live out. While the world tells us from a very young age to be self-sufficient, God tells us to be reliant on Him alone.
Read that last sentence again and reflect on how “self-sufficiency” and “reliance on God” are conflicting concepts. With the first concept, we sit on the throne. Applying the latter, we yield to the only One worthy, to sit on His throne.
If we were without weakness, we would tell ourselves “we got this,” similar to those who attempted to build the Tower of Babel. What bad news if we choose to trust our own morals instead of the path of righteousness that the Spirit confirms. If we compromise on being kingdom-minded here, cut corners on being above reproach there — in order to further the success of the work of our hands — we’re not putting God first. It would be prideful. We would be stealing glory from God, which is most ridiculous, for He alone will be exulted above all.
We live to bring glory to God. We are the work of His hands. And really, He’s the One who gives every victory, life-skill, improvement, and success. Let’s give God the glory before, during and after every moment, no matter the outcome, knowing our Sovereign God is with us.
Here’s the most mind-boggling part — God says those who endure in faith will reign with Him. (2 Timothy 2:10-13) For extra encouragement to endure, we can rely on Philippians 4:13. I can do ALL things THROUGH CHRIST who strengthens me. Here it is again, the mention of our dependance on Christ, which we can apply to all circumstances.
Let’s revel in our dependance on Christ, just like Paul in today’s verse.
Paul writes in verse 10 “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” When we respond to God’s plan and live on God’s strength alone, we will never lack anything.
We cannot claim to depend on God for everything and yet set out to ensure we achieve our own goals according to the world’s view of success. No, we’re called to trust God’s plan for us and follow Him no matter where the road leads. We’re called to be His friend and co-worker to focus on His kingdom business. (John 15:15, 2 Corinthians 5:20, Matthew 6:33)
There’s absolute freedom in following God’s plan. Think about it, when you live independently you also fail independently, but when you live responsive to God’s love and direction you’ll never fail! God’s got this.
Making resolutions is not bad. From whom we gain our motive and strength from, though, makes all the difference.
Heavenly Father, we don’t ‘got this’.
You are the One who created all things, and hold all things together. Help us to rely on You, as we delight in our weakness, that Your strength may abound. For Your glory, You will deliver us into Your glory. ~Amen.
See also Self-Confidence V. Savior-Confidence.