Gordon Crook - Pastor, Wichita, KS
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” II Corinthians 12:9
God wants to work weakness in your life. It is not really that He needs to “work” weakness; we are weak in ourselves, but that we need to recognize our weakness so that He can work in our lives. It is our very weakness that brings us to His presence.
The culture we live in does not value weakness, and encourages us to rely on ourselves and to be strong. We are told that we do need God. He is for weaklings and people who don’t know any better. Well, we do know better.
“Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.” Psalms 6:2. Our weakness is what causes us to cry out to God for His grace and mercy. When we are strong in ourselves, we have no need of God’s working grace. When we turn to Him in weakness, then He can show His power and then the glory goes to Him.
Our weakness is found in our humanity. We are unable to rescue ourselves or even help ourselves, even though we tend to want to do it all ourselves. Even Jesus experienced some of the weakness of this humanity. “For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.” II Corinthians 13:4. He was able to die because He had a human body that suffered the same weaknesses as we do. In His humanity, Jesus is able to understand all of our weaknesses. “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.” Isaiah 42:1. Notice that Jesus was upheld by His Father. He was completely dependant upon His Father when He was here.
We, more than Jesus, need to be dependant upon the Father. He is the only one that can sustain us. “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.” Isaiah 40:29. Notice who receives strength and power from God. Not those that are strong and powerful in themselves; those that are faint and have no might.
There are so many examples in the Old Testament of those who God used through their weakness. Consider Abraham who had to wait until he was too old to have a child. God was only able to show His power when Abraham no longer had any chance of doing it on his own.
Consider Joseph who had to go through slavery and imprisonment before God could use him to bring about a great deliverance. Joseph had no possibility, while sitting in prison, of making something great of himself. But out of his weakness, God brought greatness and glory to Himself.
And Gideon, who recognized his weakness, but God still had to reduce his army to just 300 men with pitchers and torches so that God would get all of the glory.
There are many others as well. They are examples to us of what God can do in our weakness. “Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” Hebrews 11:34.
Paul knew and understood the use fullness of weakness in his life, as God had allowed something that taught him to rely entirely on God. He gloried in his infirmities, not because he enjoyed the infirmities, but because he knew God would be glorified through them. “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” II Corinthians 12:10.
Weakness does not mean that we cannot do anything for Jesus. Quite the contrary, through our weakness, God is able to work more for His glory than if we were doing everything we possibly could in our own power.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13. Everything that God wants you to do is enabled by His power and His strength. God will work through your weakness if you let Him.