Monday, May 9, 2011

A State of Weakness

{"Three different times I begged the Lord to take (my thorn) 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 the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, I am strong." 2 Cor 12:8-10}

As the Women of Grace are studying this verse,  I have been particularly thoughtful about the idea of "weakness".

I have always read that verse to mean a 'weakness' in terms of a character flaw, or a temptation we struggle with. A friend posed the question,  if God is made more powerful in our weakness then does that we mean that we are not to attempt to fix those areas of weakness?

It has lead me down a path of thought and a conclusion that I find very comforting and that fits so well with a number of personal situations where God's power is needed ...

One thing that I am doing alot of with this method of study, is that I am defining alot of words. I have learned a TON in the process! In this passage I looked up the meaning of "weakness" and found that it means, "a lack of strength."

That certainly applies to character flaws, but the meaning is much bigger than that!  Consider that 'weakness' in this passage may be referring to state of "lacking in strength".  A state where you are less than capable, where your strength is less than is needed for the task at hand. Consider that it applies to any situation where you find yourself at a loss for resources, where you have given what you can and it is beyond your ability to manage.

I especially am drawn to the last portion of this scripture ..."That is why I take pleasure in insults, in hardships, persecutions and troubles that I suffer for Christ." vs.10   ..all of these are things that beyond ones ability to control. Can you relate to any of them?

Also, look at the verse previous to our focus passage ..."So to keep me from being proud I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep from being proud." vs. 7  ..hear the lack of ability to have impact on his situation?

Then, in vs 8 he demonstrates his lack of control when he states "three times I begged the Lord to take it away."

Many have taken it as a task to determine what 'thorn' Paul was referring to. There are suggestions of physical limitations, deformities, and various character weaknesses. One woman on our WoG Facebook group suggested that "since he considered himself the chiefest of sinners, perhaps his "thorn" was the struggle to forgive himself."  Any, or all of these may place Paul, or us, in a state of "lacking in strength"!

Are you in a state of weakness? ...are you lacking in strength in any particular area?

*Perhaps you struggle with an addiction that you simply do not have the strength to overcome.
*Perhaps you are the victim of someone's misunderstanding, lack of forgiveness, lack of love, or of their sin.
*Perhaps you are in a situation that you have done all you can to restore a relationship and forgiveness is still withheld, or simply cannot be resolved.
*Perhaps your body is struggling with an illness, and you simply do not have the strength required to fight it.
*Perhaps your marriage is lost beyond your ability to restore, the hurt is too great.
*Perhaps you have less than you need in the area of finances and you are unable to provide for it
*Perhaps you struggle constantly with the same sin, over and over again and you keep ending up back in the same place over and over again
*Perhaps your default settings are simply too much for you to fight.
*Perhaps you are a victim of natures' fury over the last few weeks, and you have lost everything physical. 

Perhaps you are weary, tired, out of strength...

You are weak.

In this state of weakness, this state of "lacking in strength" you find yourself in the arms of a God who has all the strength you need.  He has all you need. His grace is sufficient for you. In this state He is made the most powerful because we resist the least. We allow the most. We give over the best.

Here, in this state of total loss we see where God stands in contrast in all His fullness.

And, so we rejoice! We "take pleasure in the hardships, insults, persecutions and troubles..."  Because, when we are weak, then He is strong ..and He in us makes US strong!

"When I am weak, then I am strong."  2 Corinthians 12:10


  1. I so needed to hear this today as I am facing my fourth loss of a child. I needed this reminder in a huge way! Thank you

  2. Edie, You will be on my thoughts and in my prayers. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet angels. I pray that God will scoop you up and overwhelm you with love and peace, all in the same hug has he has those precious little ones!


Related Posts with Thumbnails
Related Posts with Thumbnails