but he said to me, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” [2 corinthians 12:9]
have you ever thought of your weaknesses as God’s provision? pick up any “personal development” book today and they’ll tell you that there are no weaknesses, only opportunities! or maybe they’ll say, just forget about your weaknesses and capitalize on your strengths.
either way, the general consensus is that something has to be done about weaknesses. we can’t have them, and if we do, we must ignore them – we would certainly never boast about them, unless we were maybe actively doing something to be stronger in that area.
but God sees a weakness, and uses it. or, dare we say it, he allows a weakness where there was none as a way of providing for us. here are a few questions to illustrate what i mean:
- if we believe that we are strong and sufficient, will we ever believe in the sufficiency of God’s grace or our need for his strength?
- if you never experience tribulation or difficulty, will you ever know much of the upholding power of God?
- do you really believe that God’s grace is sufficient to meet your every need, spiritual and material?
look over the questions above and answer them honestly.
while paul earnestly and urgently asked the Lord to take his thorn away, he ultimately accepted and believed Jesus’ response that his grace was and is sufficient.
dear believer, do you trust that the grace of God (his unmerited favor toward us), is sufficient to provide for:
- your physical health?
- the health of your children/spouse/parents/friends?
- your material needs – clothes, home, food?
- your spiritual needs?
- your mental health?
- your anxiety?
- your depression?
- your own doubts as a Christian?
if we truly believe that the power that raised Christ from death to life and saved our hopeless souls from the punishment they deserved is real, then we certainly must believe that the same power is sufficient to provide our every need, even in suffering. in fact, God promises that it is.
but you might say, sure, i believe that…but it’s too much to view my weaknesses as God’s provision for me. and to that i say to myself and to you – where would we be without the soul-shattering moments of our lives? far from God, that’s where. left to our own “strengths” our sinful nature is damning.
we must put these temporary, earthly weaknesses into perspective. if strength here on earth compromises eternity with Christ, then i don’t want it. and so, can we boast in our weaknesses for the joy that is set before us?
i think spurgeon says it best:
“this sufficiency is declared without any limiting words, and therefore i understand the passage to mean that the grace of our Lord Jesus is sufficient to uphold thee, sufficient to strengthen thee, sufficient to comfort thee, sufficient to make thy trouble useful to thee, sufficient to enable thee to triumph over it, sufficient to bring thee out of it, sufficient to bring thee out of ten thousand like it, sufficient to bring thee home to heaven… o child of God, i wish it were possible to put into words this all-sufficiency, but it is not. let me retract my speech: i am glad that it cannot be put into words, for if so it would be finite, but since we never can express it, glory be to God it is inexhaustible, and our demands upon it can never be too great. here let me press upon you the pleasing duty of taking home the promise personally at this moment, for no believer here need be under any fear, since for him also, at this very instant, the grace of the Lord Jesus is sufficient.” -charles spurgeon
~ erin boettge