Reflections

Strength out of Weakness

By July 29, 2021 No Comments
Image by Schäferle from Pixabay

God’s strength radiates through the weaknesses of men, and finds its completion in their frailties.  Paul says as much in 2 Corinthians 12:9, when he repeats that very truth of God to  the church at Corinth. So convinced is Paul of that divine truth that he goes on to claim openly how he is pleased with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and even calamities. He then argues that such weaknesses make him strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).  This is because God is glorified when he takes something in its weak state, and then uses that inferior trait to advance his plans. Men and demons are forced to acknowledge God’s might when they see such victory.

It’s a recurring theme throughout the bible.  God takes a stuttering and faith impaired Moses and uses him to lead his people out of Egypt. He takes a weak and near faithless Gideon and destroys the Midianites, which then restores his people to a more proper worship.  God is glorified in the horrific suffering of Job when that man holds onto both his faith and his reverence for God in the midst of unspeakable tragedy and pain.   The name of God is exalted in the painful endurance of David as he is chased by the powerful King Saul in his madness. Jacob, who becomes injured at the hip and walks with a limp after a night of wrestling with God, fathers the prophetic line of a holy people of faith.  The ultimate example of this theme is Jesus, God in the flesh, suffering on a criminal’s cross not because he is guilty, but precisely because he is innocent, and paying for the sins and transgressions of people blackened with guilt. God takes that suffering and brings the joy of salvation to people who don’t deserve it. Glorious. Absolutely glorious. 

All of these people were anointed, appointed, and set apart to advance God’s plans. And so are you. Their suffering had meaning. And so does yours. Such suffering demonstrates the majesty of God, and his worthiness to those who are suffering. In each of those biblical instances, each of those people were also glorified. They were set apart by their suffering, and while they glorified God, they also are glorified because they reflect him.  This is why Paul tells us not to lose heart in our troubles, because our momentary light afflictions are preparing for us an eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). The affliction will pass away, but the glory will remain. 

 If you are suffering or afflicted, hold fast to God. Do not lose heart. Your pain will pass, but you will have eternal reward as the power and goodness of God is magnified through your weaknesses. 

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