"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. 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."
This scripture makes no sense to the natural man, does it? In the natural, we want to hide our weaknesses. We want to cover them up, pretend they don't exist, pretend we are strong when we are really quaking in our boots. In the flesh (natural), we don't want to even admit that we could have weaknesses.
But Jesus, if nothing else, He sure came to turn our world upside down. He said if you want to be great, you need to be the servant of all. Then he said if you want to save your life, you need to lose it. Then Paul comes along and says he's going to boast about his weaknesses!!
What kind of gospel is this?
Why would we want to boast about our weaknesses?
Jesus said to Paul, "....my power is made perfect in weakness."
When we are weak, Christ's power rests upon us.
When we are weak, we are made strong in Him.
His strength is made perfect in our weakness!
The highest measure of someone's maturity in Christ is the degree of their dependency upon Him. Our very weaknesses are what drive us to that place of dependency. For when we are weak, we have to lean on Him. We have to trust in Him.
Our very weaknesses are actually opportunities for His strength to shine through us!
But, how we hate to have to depend on someone other than ourselves, don't we?
I live alone and because of that very fact, I have learned to be independent. Truth be known, I've always had that independent streak. I was raised to be independent. Independence, in and of itself, is not always a bad thing. It's what enables us to take care of ourselves, provide for ourselves and thrive in the world we live in. It's healthy for a society to have people who are independent enough to be contributing citizens.
But when it is paired with stubbornness, it can indeed be a dangerous, even sinful, thing. I don't like to admit I can't take care of myself or that I need someone's help. I want to do things my way, when I want to do them, without being at the mercy of someone else's schedule. And it's also not good for a society for it's citizens to live completely independent of each other. It's hard to build community with that independent spirit. It's good for us to rely on each other for some things.
That independent streak in me spills over into my walk with the Lord and I find often I don't want to have to depend on Him for something. I don't want to admit my weakness! I don't want to wait for Him to come through for me. How contrary is that to what Paul tells us!
As the Lord reveals my weaknesses, I have two choices. I can either force the issue and do it in my own strength or I can lean hard on Him and depend on Him. Often times, our weaknesses are such that we have no choice but to be driven to that place before Him of utter and total dependency.
The world sees dependency as a weakness, but in God's kingdom, weakness is turned into opportunity - opportunity for God to reveal Himself and glorify Himself in and through us.
May now I boast of my weaknesses.
May now I glory in them because they drive me to Him.
May now I acknowledge them before Him.
May now I lean hard on Him for His strength.
Truth be known, I am always weak, but don't know it.
Truth be known, I am always in need of His strength, but don't recognize it.
Truth be known, I am never in control, just under the delusion that I am!
How much better it is to know it, recognize it and own it!
Then His strength becomes mine!
His strength is made perfect!
His strength becomes evident in me and to others!