Do you have characteristics, quirks, or looks that you wish you could change? We all might feel that sometimes we aren’t good enough, strong enough, or attractive enough. We feel we have a weakness that affects our ability to do great things. In the Bible, Paul felt the same way, yet he became someone who used his weakness to have a great impact on others.
That experience is worth boasting about, but I’m not going to do it. I will boast only about my weaknesses. If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.
2 Corinthians 12:5-7
Paul actually had something to boast about. You probably do too! We all have strengths, but God wants to use us through our strengths and weaknesses to show his power.
Paul was willing to admit that without his weaknesses, he would become proud and not be able to have the kind of influence on others that he really wanted to have.
What do you think is your biggest strength and weakness?
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. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10
Paul didn’t like having a weakness, but he realized that this weakness was supposed to help him rely on God.
Whether your parents are divorced, you have a health challenge, you have a learning disability, or you have a hard time making friends, God can use any of these qualities or experiences that you feel are weaknesses to help you become strong.
How can you rely on God through your weakness?
When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Interlude Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
When we keep silent about our sin (how we have messed up), desires (what we really want), or insecurities (what we are afraid to show others), we will remain weak.
When we hide the feelings and sins in our heart, we cannot be known by God and make room in our hearts for his comfort.
What sin, desires, and insecurities do you need to be honest about so that you can regain courage again?
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
When we feel weak, it is actually a way that we can find comfort in God.
When we read the Bible, we can find scriptures that teach us how God feels and cares about us. We learn the ways that God is great and able to handle any challenge.
How can you begin to get comfort from God through your weakness?
Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.
2 Corinthians 1:6-7
God doesn’t want us to keep that comfort to ourselves. He wants us to share his comfort, care, and purpose with others. The flaws, insecurities, and challenges we go through are to actually make connections with others who go through or feel the same way. So if our parents are divorced, we have a health challenge, etc, we are able to help others who also feel weak when they are going through similar circumstances.
By sharing what we have gone through and how God helped us along the way, we are able to give them hope for having greatness through their weaknesses.
When we are inspiring and teaching others about the ways God has compassion on our weaknesses, we become great and help others become great.
How can your weakness be used to inspire and comfort someone around you?
Find a friend to share your strength and weakness. Talk about scriptures that help you understand how God has compassion on your weaknesses. Then look for ways to relate to others. Use what you have gone through to help them.