“We have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” —2 Corinthians 4:7
God’s grace is more clearly seen and more deeply savored in our weaknesses than in our strengths.
I learned early on that He uses us not in spite of our weaknesses but, more often than not, exactly because of our weaknesses. It’s through our weakness that His strength is perfected. Yet we are a people who are so determined to be strong, and we feel so much pressure to be perfect and competent. We live in a culture that celebrates strength and achievement.
When I lead, I feel inadequate but that’s usually happen when I look inwardly – to myself. When I look outward towards Jesus, I see a different story.
I’m increasingly convinced that our strengths may be more troublesome than our weaknesses. We’re always tempted to rely on our strengths. We’re always bringing our strengths to God and saying, “Use this for Your Kingdom.” That’s a good thing to do, but I think He really wants us to surrender our weaknesses to Him and allow Him to use those.
Growing up, we develop these skills of trying to put our best foot forward and appear put together, look good and be impressive. All of our lives we are working towards creating a facade that looks good for the rest of the world. We want everyone to think that we’re put together.
“Something’s wrong with me. I’m broken. I’m strange.”
That’s the fruit of this blessed thorn in my flesh. As I get older, I see my handicap as this amazing gift that God gave to me that built so many good things in my life.
Israel’s weakness didn’t stop God from parting the sea. He’s not looking for strength, but for faith.
As long as we’re always operating out of our strengths and our competencies, we always know what we’re gonna get. If we’re willing to work out of weaknesses, who knows what’s going to happen. That’s where the Lord has room to do that thing that only He can do. I wonder if the weak really have the advantage, because our weakness gives us access to a strength beyond ourselves.
Your greatest ministry will flow out of your weakness — not out of your strengths or your talents but out of the painful experiences of your life.
It is your weaknesses that help other people in their need, not your strengths. Who can be more sympathetic than somebody who has already been through what another person is going through right now? Who can better help the parent of a special needs child than a parent who raised a special needs child? Who can better help somebody going through a bankruptcy than somebody who has gone through it before? Who can better help somebody experiencing the heartbreak of divorce than somebody who remembers how terrible it felt? Who can better help somebody who’s been abused or molested than somebody who has been abused or molested?
And our weaknesses can be a container for God’s glory. Hannah tasted salty tears of infertility. Elijah howled for God to take his life. David asked his soul a thousand times why it was so downcast. Remember Moses? God still used him despite his speech impediment. What about Elijah? He struggled with depression and burnout, yet God did some mighty miracles through him. If God can use them, He can use you in this time of turmoil! Ask Him to use you right where you’re at.
During these trying times, do you feel useless? Do you think God only uses perfect people? Think again! All people—including you—are flawed.
Perhaps you think God can’t use you because you’re not perfect. The truth is, God used people in the Bible to bring glory to Himself through their weaknesses or suffering. God does great things through the greatly wounded.
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