2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV 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.
I was preparing the night before the Ambassadors for Christ Australia dinner when I realised that the two-sided prints of our program sheets were not aligned. I panicked for a while, but after a careful thought, I decided to put a gold ribbon on its side to hide its imperfection.
Some people remarked that I did well in preparing and decorating the program sheets. My husband, who knew what went wrong, told me that the outcome of the program sheets looked great with the gold ribbon
It reminded me that we tend to be critical of ourselves as people. We can even be so encouraging and supportive to other people, but we tend to be hard on ourselves. Those negative thoughts, fear, self-pity, condemnation, guilt, shame, low self-esteem, brokenness, feeling inadequate or not enough, worthlessness, weaknesses and disgrace can be very accessible. We tend to dwell on that space for quite some time, or worse, it becomes a cycle of God’s grace and God’s forgiveness to us.
In Hebrews 4:4-16 it says, “..They shall not enter my rest. Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience..Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.. LET US THEREFORE STRIVE TO ENTER THAT REST, SO THAT NO ONE MAY FALL BY THE SAME SORT OF DISOBEDIENCE. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of the soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account..For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but one who is in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.“
So one conclusion to draw from the warning in the book of Hebrews is that unbelief is such a constant and dangerous temptation that WE MUST FIGHT. Entering into God’s rest depends on our faith. We will not enter into God’s rest — if we do not trust his promises.
If we feel that we are turning to ourselves alone, let’s try to read Corinthians 12:9 again and again until it sinks in our hearts and souls. Let us be reminded that God’s grace can only fill those holes in our hearts because God is the only one who can make our lives sufficient. Let us CHOOSE to enter God’s rest and accept that we are indeed not enough, but God is! After all, he is the creator of all things.
Let us boast all the more gladly about our weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on us! When we yield to him, we will experience his power at work in us, transforming our hearts and minds.
All throughout the Bible, we see that God loves to grow the trust of his people by working through their weaknesses and limitations. Consider barren Sarah, Hannah, Rachel and Elizabeth, the stuttering Moses, Gideon’s small band, the young David versus the giant, Goliath, the young virgin Mary, and the blue-collar Peter among other fishermen who we’re called to be Jesus’ disciples, Jesus himself, who came in the utter weakness and vulnerability of a baby, the lamb who was slain, ultimately demonstrates that it is meek sheep who conquer and win the world. “God chooses what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and what is weak to shame the strong.” 1 Corinthians 1:27
God “comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4 NIV). After God helps you go through a problem or learn to live with a weakness, you can help somebody else with the same difficulty.
Just like our program sheets, God can use our flaws and weaknesses to emphasise the power of his love and to participate in the divine plans God has for the world. Are we willing to celebrate our smallness, trust in God’s power and make ourselves available the next time God prompts us to witness for him to a neighbour, a family, work colleague or the cab driver or the woman behind the counter?
Lord, we acknowledge that we are nothing without you. Thank you that your grace is sufficient. We joyfully accept that you have all the strength and power we could ever need, and we don’t—and so we’re going to need your help! Help us share this valuable peace, joy, hope, and your freeing sufficiency in all things to all the people around us, especially in this day and age. In your sufficiency we trust, Amen!