My desktop calendar for this morning reads, “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.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
Have you ever thought about those words? Dissected that verse? I have wondered about it a few times. Let’s look at what this verse might mean.
Paul had many things he could have boasted about. His experiences were incredible! Instead of boasting about himself, he only boasted about his Jesus.
There is a song I sing called, “In Christ Alone”. There are two songs with that title by the way, this one has the lyrics:
“In Christ alone will I glory
Though I could pride myself in battles won
For I've been blessed beyond measure
By His strength alone, I overcome
Oh, I could stop and count successes like diamonds in my hands
But those trophies could not equal the grace by which I stand…”
I think that was a bit of Paul’s thinking. He could count successes and there were many.
He wrote, “…If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.” Philippians 3:4-7 ESV
Paul knew that he had no power. He was powerless! With the above writing, Paul was saying, “yes, I have seen a few achievements in my lifetime, but I owe it all to Jesus.
The same can be said for you and me! We have been blessed beyond measure. We owe everything to God. And when we are at our lowest point, our weakest state, that is when Jesus can really shine.
Wherever God has placed you in life, whatever jobs, and responsibilities He has placed on your shoulders, remember that He promised to give you sufficient grace.
“Our weakness is the very thing that leads us to God in the first place. When we deny our shortcomings, we drift off in the opposite direction. We are like the small child who insists on doing it herself, when the task at hand is far, far beyond her abilities.
Paul boasted of his weakness because it brought God into his life with stunning power. Paul became an empty vessel and Christ lived through him, accomplishing amazing things. This great privilege is open to all of us. Only when we empty ourselves of our own ego can we be filled with something better. When we are weak, then we can become strong.
So often we pray for strength, when in actuality what the Lord wants is for us to remain in our weakness, utterly dependent upon him. Paul went on to say, "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 12:10, NLT)
Our human weaknesses continually open the way for more of the Lord's power and grace to shine through us.
Paul learned to delight in his troubles and weaknesses because they brought the blessings of God to rest upon his life. This word rest in verse 9 conveys the image of Christ's power spreading over Paul like a tent. We think our physical thorns will hinder us from serving the Lord when in reality, the very opposite is true. They are perfecting us so that Christ's divine power can be revealed through the window of our human weakness.” (Source: learnreligions.com)
Psalm 91 talks about the person who dwells in the shelter of the Most High. Verse 4 tells us “…under his wings you will find refuge…”
Sheltered under His wings like a protective parent.
And then we see Christ’s power spreading over us like a tent.
This is such beautiful imagery! Peggy Joyce Ruth wrote a beautiful illustration I would like to finish with today.
“My husband and I live in the country, and one spring, our old mother hen hatched some baby chicks. One afternoon, when the little chicks were scattered all over the yard, I suddenly saw the shadow of a hawk overhead. What happened next taught me a lesson I will never forget. What I thought would happen and what did happen were two different things. That mother hen did not run all over the barnyard and jump on top of those chicks in an attempt to cover them with her wings as one might have expected. I thought that old hen would pick her favorite chicks in a split second and run cover them. No! Instead, to my surprise, she squatted down, spread out her wings and began to squawk. Without hesitation, those little chicks came running to her from every direction and then ducked under those outstretched wings. All that mother hen did was cluck and expand her wings so they knew where to hide. Then she pulled her wings down tight, tucking every little chick safely under her. There was no way that hawk could get to those babies without going through that mother hen.
When I think of those baby chicks running to their mother, it reminds me that we have to run to God. He does not run all over the place trying to put His covering over us. He said, “I have made protection available. You run to Me!” If one of those chicks had tried to hide itself or failed to heed its mother’s warning clucks, it would have been snatched up by the hawk. And, when we run to God in faith, it means the enemy has to go through God to get to us. There is no greater safety…” (source: peggyjoyceruth.org)
“In Christ alone, I place my trust and find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory, let it be said of me
My source of strength, my source of hope, is Christ alone.” – In Christ Alone
by Jeanette Stark – Tuesday, November 29, 2022