January 10-11, 2004
2 Corinthians 12:5-10
The apostle Paul understood what it meant to be pushed to the limits of his life. According to his letters, he knew a lot about difficulty, hardship, and trial. But he was most knowledgeable about the ultimate importance of all of those painful experiences—glorifying Jesus through his weakness.
We do not like to feel helpless or out of control of our own lives. What we can learn from Paul and from our own experiences is that the prelude to great strength is great weakness. An important lesson of the Christian life is that our weakest moments—those times we feel the most desperate—are the very times when God is free to do His greatest work by empowering and strengthening us. In those circumstances during which we whisper, “God, I cannot go on,” we are granted the best equipping and the greatest enabling to suffer and endure.
Human nature cries out for strength, courage, and adequacy to meet every challenge in life. Consequently, many people avoid fiery trials and valley experiences at all costs so they will not have to experience weakness. They tell themselves that they can handle life on their own terms and that their own strength is sufficient. But we can never understand the supernatural empowerment to go beyond our own limits unless we experience it for ourselves. The only way to have conviction about the adequacy of Christ in our lives is to experience weakness and the strength that sprouts from it. No matter what is going on in our lives, there is power available to the children of God.
To delve deeper into this subject and more, visit the In Touch Web site: www.intouch.org.
For a free online discipleship study from Dr. Charles Stanley, visit www.charlesstanleyinstitute.com.