Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.2 Corinthians 13:8-10
I recently had the opportunity to share a quick encouragement to my church and this is the verse God put on my heart. This verse is something God continues to speak to me when I face a mountain that feels so impossibly large compared to my apparent short comings. When God spoke to me about this verse, it was because I was walking through some incredible difficulties that exposed some of my greatest weaknesses. Paul says he asked three times to take his difficulties away, I know I have asked and did ask way more than three times. How many times have we in today’s world asked God to take away the fear, difficulties and challenges we are facing?
But God has an answer for Paul and I believe this answer is for all of us. “My grace is all you need, my power works best in weakness” Jesus says. As other well known translations says “my grace is sufficient for you” There is a process of God’s power that transforms us through our weaknesses. What does He mean when He says my power works best in weaknesses?
In our weaknesses, we seek God
“But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;
yes, I prayed to my God for help.
He heard me from his sanctuary;
my cry to him reached his ears.”
In this Psalm, David demonstrates what God wants us all to do in moments of trouble, to seek Him. When we have come to the end of ourselves, there is only one place to look and that is to God. When we are in our moments of weaknesses, we seek Him in ways operating out of our strengths would never require us to.
In our weaknesses, we depend on God
We realized we are not able to do it on our own. In reality, we can’t do anything on our own without God, but our weaknesses make it even more abundantly clear that we need God. It pushes us into deeper reliance on Him
Paul says in Philippines 4:13 that he has learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little, that he can do everything through Christ who gives him strength. In our weaknesses, we learn to do things not on our own but through God and in dependance of Him.
In our weaknesses, God brings breakthrough
Our weaknesses are the places most primed to see God’s glory in our lives. Bill Johnson says “We have to see the places of lack in our lives as the very places where God intends to bring us into our greatest victories.” Think of our weaknesses as dry and desert areas of our souls, of places for some reason or another, we lack. In those areas, God wants to bring a rushing river of grace that springs up in the middle of that lack. In Isaiah 43:20, God says He “will make rivers in the dry wasteland.”
Jesus wants to bring a river that brings life to those areas of weaknesses, where there once was a desert becomes a place of life and abundance, so that our whole soul becomes watered. It is Jesus says, his grace is what we need.
Why did Paul conclude “when I am weak, I am strong?”
Paul realized in his weaknesses, God brings His God-sized breakthrough and transformation. He moves into the places of lack and fills it up not with human strength, but divine grace. That is why Paul says when he is weak, he is strong, because he is strong only in a way that the Lord can make him strong
So I want to encourage us today – it’s not about asking God to take away the things that expose our weaknesses, it’s about experiencing the breakthrough in the middle of them. It’s about becoming strong through them in a way only God can do.
We must trust God in our weaknesses, to lean into the areas of weakness you may feel the Lord pressing you into. I find in my walk with the Lord that He rarely asks to use me in my strengths and always in my weaknesses. I feel like last year, God pushed me into almost all of my weaknesses and but throughout the process, I have felt the breakthrough I know He promises to us all. I’m not fully there but I have to say, I really do feel stronger
God wants to bring us to a place to seek Him, depend on Him, and to experience the breakthrough of grace in our lives through our weaknesses and that is my prayer for all of us.