Sunday, August 28, 2016

August 29, 2016

"That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." II Corinthians 12:10

Glorying in your weakness is a foreign concept for most believers today. I have a feeling it was not largely embraced back in Paul's day either. It's a tough one to comprehend!

But, judging by what Paul says here in this verse, once you learn it and live it then you can be free of the fear and dread of adverse circumstances because each difficulty becomes and occasion for fresh grace from God!

Maybe a better way of getting your mind around this concept is to realize that we probably never would have heard about Paul or Peter or Job if it had not been for the way God's strength was made perfect in their sufferings.

Paul was the most accomplished of the three. He was highly educated, highly motivated, highly articulate and highly focused on whatever task he chose. He was one of the greatest Pharisees of his day. But how many other Pharisees can you name? Most people who knew Pharisees tried to forget about them!

But Paul is famous, and respected and beloved 2,000 years after his death! However, he is not remembered because of his strengths as a Pharisee he is remembered because of all he suffered in serving Christ and the Church!

Peter was pretty much the opposite of Paul, rough, rugged, uncultured and uneducated. He was a fisherman who spent his nights on the Sea of Galilee, his morning cleaning nets and days catching a bit of rest to prepare for another night on the Sea.

From the glimpses provided by the Gospel it seems that Peter tended toward impatience and impulsiveness. He had a knack for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. The one time he got it right he found himself being rebuked by Jesus just a few minutes later.

Peter denied Jesus three times and eventually went back to fishing. He had an undistinguished career as a disciple of Jesus.

But on the day of Pentecost He found the All-Sufficiency of God. That was a game-changer for him and he became one of the foremost apostles. But the truth is we remember Paul more for his weaknesses and failures than for His successes. 

God's strength was made perfect in his weakness!

Job was a righteous man who seemingly had no weakness - at least no obvious ones. In fact, Job was so good God was bragging to Satan about Job. Only by allowing the devil to test and try Job did he show how to find his sufficiency in God.

When we first meet Job he is a wealthy man. The last we see of Job his wealth has been fully restored. But Job is known centuries later not for his wealth but for his weakness that he suffered at the hand of the evil one.

God's strength is made perfect in your weakness. Therefore, as Paul writes to the Corinthian Church, embrace your weaknesses. Don't try to impress God with your strengths but trust His sufficiency in your failures and weaknesses. When you are at your weakest God is at His best.