January 12th 2020 we had two young people, Kim Clark and Manuele Teofilo, share a powerful message at Manukau City Baptist about overcoming from their own personal experience. The same day as I continued preparation for posting all the Gems and Nuggets to the new website I came across this Nugget to edit and felt the timing of it all was too good to pass it by. So here it is. You can find the sermon on https://www.citybaptist.org.nz/sermons
“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it 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.”2 Corinthians 12:8-9
This is not the first time Paul has talked about weakness. Remember this –
Who is weak without my feeling that weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger? If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am.2 Corinthians 11:29-30
Paul has been building this theme of weakness. Primarily because the false prophets and others despise weakness. Weakness is a characteristic they attribute to Paul. Strength is seen as the trait they seek. Weakness is a thing to be shunned. How like the world we live in now. What good can come from weakness?
But remember what Paul said back in the beginning of 1 Corinthians. Again Paul was accused of weakness. He asserts God uses the weak things to confound the strong. How like Him. There are many paradoxes in God and in His Word. The way down is the way up. The way to gain your life is to give it away. The way to strength is through weakness. I have told you before numerous times that repetition is used for emphasis. Three-times-repetitions are important. There are very few repetitions in the Bible repeated three times but this is one. Paul asks the Lord three times to take this “thorn” from him. The answer each time is “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” That is because He delights to compensate human weakness with His strength when the heart attitude is right. When we realize and confess our need for Him, forsake our self sufficiency and rely on Him, He pours his strength into us. But as long as we are content to do things in our own strength, that strength is all we will have. God will never compensate human pride with His strength because He won’t get the glory. He will just be feeding our pride and encouraging us to continue in our strength. It is all do with with the matter of the heart.
This gives us another clue as to why Paul is on about weakness so much. Oh yes it is true he is using the theme of weakness because it is a theme of the false prophets and false teachers. But also Paul has discovered the secret. Paul knows when his heart attitude is right before God then God’s power can flow through him. When we know we are weak, confess it and call on His strength He is only too happy to manifest His strength in us. God will never allow his power to flow through a pride filled vessel. If it is a matter of pretence and human strength God will never manifest His power. That would be folly on God’s part and it would only confirm us in our human strength and that would only perpetuate the tendency for us to continue doing it in our strength. So quit the games, confess your weakness and call on His strength and then stand back and watch what happens. It will astound and amaze you. All the testimonies of the great saints of God down through the ages contain the realisation of this fact. It too is another aspect of the beautiful exchange. (See Bible Gem 546)
Allow me to tell you the story of Christopher Nolan
What are you going to do with your weaknesses?
It’s OK to let your children (and anyone else) see you cry.Ian Vail
Big boys can cry.Anon
The world says: “We don’t tolerate incompetence” or “Not much room at the top” or “Three strikes and you’re out” Jesus says: “Be sure to tell Peter he gets to bat again.” (Mark 16:7)Bob Gass
The heart of the matter is always a matter of the heart.Anon