Summary: It can be so difficult to handle our personal weaknesses, but know that God is using them for His glory.
Out of Weakness
Purpose Driven Life #35
May 8, 2004
When children come to Jesus they come knowing they are not particularly strong. This is to their advantage, and this is what Jesus knew when He brought them forward to bless them.
Matt.19.13-15- Jesus saw something that others didn’t. Where others saw the weakness and the ’littleness’ of the children, and saw this as something that made them insignificant and not worthy of attention, Jesus saw this as the redeeming value drawing him to them. They, because of who they are, have much to teach us, and we must learn something from this- something about being little, being needy, being dependent, and being taught- as maturing Christians, as Jesus directed us.
We are not nearly as strong as we’d like to think, sometimes. We try to hide our neediness. We try to hide our inabilities. We try to hide- and to hide from- the fact that we’re not ’all that’ by ourselves, and that we do need others. We are to learn from the children- from children in our midst- who live and are knowing they have things to learn and have to depend on the adults in their lives. We need to learn from the freshness and from the willingness to tackle new things that children exhibit. We, like the children, are weak and needy. God loves to use weak people! Do you know that? Or do you think he is looking only for spiritual giants in the doing of his great work? We might think that God only wants to use our strengths, but he also wants to use our weaknesses for his glory.
1 Cor.1.27- tells us what? It tells us that God has chosen those who are not to glory in their own strength in order to bring glory to Himself. We all qualify! We all belong to this special called group! We are all weak and needy. That God wants to use weak and needy people is wonderful news for us- it opens all the possibilities for serving in meaningful ways that we all want to be involved with.
When you and I think of ourselves, we like to think of our strengths, and we like to even manufacture strengths that might not really be there, as we want to look good to ourselves, first of all. However, we don’t have to go there. Maybe you have some physical limitations, or a chronic illness, low energy, an emotional limitation of some sort, or a talent or intellectual limitation. God knows, and, frankly, so do you and I. Let’s not hide from ourselves- that’s the worst deceit we can be in- to hide from the truth of ourselves! God has chosen you and He delights in using you.
2 Cor.4.7- we’re clay jars or pots in which God has placed his greatest treasure. We are fragile and flawed and break easily. But God will use us if we allow him to work through our weaknesses. For that to happen, we need to follow the model of Paul.
1. Admit your weaknesses. Oh, how difficult this is for so many adults. Sometimes, this is difficult because we’ve been raised being made incredibly small and we can’t take anymore of that. Sometimes, we have an inflated sense of our own importance or position. But stop pretending to have it all together, and be hones about yourself. Stop putting on a ’front’. I have a friend who put on a front for a long time and then crashed not all that long ago. The front simply, now, leads to doubts about what was ever really true about him. You can actually benefit by making a list of your personal weaknesses.
2 Cor.13.4- we are weak! Paul knew it about himself and we must know it about ourselves.
Acts 14.15- Paul knew he was a human being, not someone to be idolized. If you want God to use you, you must know who God is and know who you are. Many Christians, especially leaders, forget the second truth- we’re only human. If it takes a crisis for you to admit this, God won’t hesitate to allow it, because he loves you.
2. Be content with your weaknesses.
2 Cor.12.9-10- this is a hard saying, I think. Contentment, though, is an expression of faith in the goodness of God. It says that we believe God loves us and knows what is best for us. Paul gives us several reasons to be content with our inborn weaknesses. First, they cause us to depend on God; Paul had a thorn in the flesh- a personal limitation of some sort, which God did not take away. As verse 10 shows, God refused to take this away because he wanted Paul to depend on him.