From Overpowered to Empowered

Lysa TerKeurst

Day: 44 | Plan: Romans - 1 and 2 Corinthians

Today's Reading: 2 Corinthians 12

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV) 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

The Bible often talks in counter-intuitive statements. Different than the normal flow. An unexpected rub against the grain.

If you want to gain, you must give up.

If someone takes your jacket, give them your shoes too.

If we are weak, then we are strong.

Tough stuff.

Good stuff.

Stuff that can sometimes leave us scratching our heads in confusion.

Because who in their right mind wants to be weak?

Yet, here we are in 2 Corinthians 12 reading about Paul and how he is grateful for his weakness. How the very thing that could have tripped him up and caused him to stumble in his faith has become a reason to boast. 

Of course, Paul didn’t start off celebrating his weakness. We find him pleading with God in 2 Corinthians 12:8 to remove his thorn in the flesh, this thing that has left him feeling weak.

But instead of removing his weakness, God speaks into Paul’s weakness. He reminds him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

God's power is often found when we shift from begging Him to remove our struggle to listening to HIm speak into our struggle.

How this fills my heart with hope and sets me free.

God’s power is made perfect in my weakness. That means I don’t have to push or pretend or even try to be perfect. He is perfectly able to use less than perfect vessels.

As a matter of fact, God’s quite fond of using weak people. Unlikely people. Then He gets all the credit for any good that comes from our frail and faulty efforts. (1 Corinthians 1:27; 2 Corinthians 4:7) Then our lives are a display for His glory, not our own.

That’s why we find Paul boasting. He’s able to say, “Hey, guys. This isn’t me! All of this good you are seeing in my life? All of this power? It’s totally the Lord.”

Paul goes on to declare in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

I can’t help but wonder if the opposite is also true … where we are strong, then we are weak.

Sometimes our strengths can become stumbling blocks. Those places where we feel especially invincible and quite able. We don’t realize that the minute we start feeling absolutely confident in our own strength is the minute we become desperately weak. All because we make the shift from walking in His power to trying to walk in our own.

What strength could easily trip you up today? Where are you needing to move from relying on your own strength to God’s strength? These are questions I’m certainly having to ask myself.

God isn’t waiting for us to impress Him with our strength. And He isn’t shaming us because of our weaknesses. He’s simply inviting us to surrender every single inadequacy to Him so He can fill us with His grace and His strength.

Let’s allow God to speak into our weaknesses today. Let’s ask Him to fill us with His grace and His strength. And let’s grab hold of truth Paul wants every believer to understand - our ability is not based on what we can do. Our ability and strength come from the One who can do all things. 

Prayer: Dear Lord, I am surrendering everything to You today. Every strength. Every weakness. All of me. And I’m asking You to fill me and use me like never before. You be my strength. You be my hope. You be my power. I know and confess that I can do nothing apart from You. I love You. I need You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments:

After Paul tells us that power is made perfect in weakness, he ends with one of his more famous... Read More

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