“[The Lord] 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).
“I can do it myself!”
The little boy was determined to get himself dressed. When Dad offered to help, the boy insisted, “I can do it myself!” Before long, Dad held back laughter as the little boy got his head and arms so tangled in his shirt that all he could do was cry out, “Help me! I’m stuck!” Only with Dad’s help was the boy finally dressed.
Weak in a sinful world
Do you ever find yourself stuck in a tangled mess? You think, I can do this myself, only to discover that you can’t.
Why is that? We live in a world that focuses on strength. We want our kids to be strong. We want to be self-sufficient enough to achieve our goals or reach our dreams. We certainly don’t want anyone to think we’re weak or vulnerable. So we buy into the lie of that little boy struggling inside his tangled shirt. “I can do it myself!” Yet, can we?
There’s a huge problem with that lie. It’s called sin. We all have it. We live in a sinful world full of stresses and struggles, troubles and hardships that leave us weak. None of us can really handle all that life throws at us—at least not on our own.
This reality includes the strongest of Christians. Paul was a strong Christian and a tough missionary, so you might think he was rarely weak. Yet along the way, Jesus taught him a lesson about the source of true strength in a believer’s life. The Lord allowed Paul to endure what he described as “a thorn in [his] flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7). We don’t know what that thorn was, but it was serious enough to leave Paul weak and unable to carry out the gospel ministry as he wanted.
Strong in grace
Paul cried out three times for God to take it away, but Jesus had a different response: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Jesus didn’t take away what was making Paul weak. Instead, he filled Paul’s weakness with his more-than-sufficient grace. How did Paul react? He rejoiced with the strength that comes only through faith in Christ. “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” God’s sufficient grace would be evident in Paul’s weakness throughout his life.
Through the grace of our Savior Jesus, we find more than enough strength for our times of weakness.
Do you ever find yourself feeling weak? Trouble and hardship, pain and suffering, doubt and uncertainty are daily companions. We cry out to God to take them away, but so often he answers no to our prayers. In those moments, we’re tempted to think that God and his grace just aren’t enough, that his ability to save us is too weak for our problems. Yet Jesus answers in a way we don’t expect. He gives a guarantee with his own blood, a guarantee that’s more than enough. The sweet voice of the Savior cuts through our weakness with pure grace: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
How do we respond to such love from our God? We look to Christ in our sufferings. We rejoice in what he endured for us. We trust that he will give us the strength to endure all things at all times until he brings us home to heaven. We rejoice in sorrow. We trust in uncertainty. Through the grace of our Savior Jesus, we find more than enough strength for our times of weakness now and always.
Author: Jeremiah Gumm
Volume 110, Number 5
Issue: May 2023
- The need for a bold confession - 2023/05/30
- More than enough - 2023/04/30
- Faith - 2022/07/28