Proverbs from Paul for the Spiritually Depressed – Part 3

“When I am weak,
then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:10 (New King James Version)

One of the secrets to getting free from the past is to turn the circumstances of our lives on their head.  What the world reckons a liability, a Christian must reckon an opportunity, for the world has yet to put God into the equation.  We all know that the world is wrong, yet unwittingly we often think in worldly ways.  This is what Paul faced when he was writing his second letter to the Corinthians.

The Corinthian church had just rejected Paul, their founding father in the faith, listening instead to “super-apostles” who claimed great powers in visions and in speech.  In contrast, Paul was written off as a weakling–a man bold in print, but unimpressive in person.  In reply, Paul felt forced to display his credentials as an apostle of Christ, but he called such a display foolish, for the Lord had told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (12:9a).  Three times he had prayed for God to remove the thorn in the flesh, but the Lord told him, “No,” saying that His free-favor on Paul’s life was enough, for power uses weakness to display its fullness.

What about you?  What natural weaknesses do you have?  (I am not talking about sin or sinful tendencies, but natural infirmities due to sickness or external difficulties.)  Have you sought to eliminate these natural weaknesses of your life, thinking that then you will be more effective in the Lord?  Humbug.  Do you not see that these very weaknesses are opportunities for God to display His strength?  Rather than be ashamed, boast in your weaknesses that the power of Christ may dwell in you (12:9b).  Did you catch the connection?  Boasting in your weaknesses leads to power.  The key to receiving power is your attitude.  Turn these things on their head.  Think well of your weaknesses, hurt feelings, neediness, persecutions, and predicaments, for when you are weak, then you are strong (12:10).  Each handicap is a platform to display the wonders of God’s grace.  Would you want to strip Him of such an opportunity?  Then let Him then confound the somethings of this world through your nothingness.  This is exactly what He did through His Son on the Cross, who “was crucified in weakness, yet . . . lives by the power of God” (13:4).  And now, Christian, Christ Himself lives in you!  Boast in Him!

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