Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)
Are there things that are holding you back or inabilities stopping you from achieving your potential? Do you ever think, ‘I would be able to do this if only I could get rid of this thing’. Is there some sickness which, if you didn’t have, you would be able to do so much more? Paul thought so too. Something was holding Paul back. Whatever it was, it must have been very unpleasant and frustrating, probably even painful. Paul begged God three times to remove his weakness. But God said no. Thankfully, God’s answers are always better than our prayers. God said, ‘My grace is what you actually need. My grace is all you need. My grace is sufficient.’ The surprising truth is that none of those worrying things are actually holding you back! Paul had to learn that those things are actually there to make you stronger! Christ’s power is better than your best strength, your best potential, your best ability. But Christ’s power only kicks in when we are weak. Weaknesses, barriers, obstacles, sicknesses, hard circumstances, all of these things are given by God so that we can be weak in ourselves and find true strength in His grace. We are always tempted to think we don’t have enough as if God has somehow short-changed us. But He hasn’t. God’s grace is sufficient even for today. What is this grace? It is His kindness to us in Jesus Christ. It His promise of His constant presence and His pledge to us that He works all things together for our good. It is His guarantee of the Spirit working in us to make us more holy like Jesus. All that grace only comes into play when we are weak in ourselves, otherwise, it wouldn’t be grace. If we could do it without Him, we would! And nothing is weaker than being ‘without Him’ no matter what we may achieve. There is also joy. Grace leads to joy. If I only get what I have earned, if I only achieve what I worked for, I will be semi-happy at best. My strength can only achieve so much. When by grace I get and achieve far more than I could ever have done or worked for in my own strength, I will be filled with joy. Pray that God would help you resist the lie that God has not given you what you need to cope. Pray that the Spirit would make you fully aware of His grace and Christ’s power. Pray that you would see your weaknesses as the gateway to your true strength which is God’s grace in you. Boast in your weaknesses!