“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor. 12:9-10
Heavenly Father, as I meditate on these words of Paul, I vacillate between feelings of anger and relief, for as a young follower of Jesus, I wasn’t taught to delight in weakness but rather to despise weakness, to deny weakness, to demonize weakness, to dethrone weakness. That’s why I totally understand Martin Luther’s statement that “bad theology is the worst taskmaster of all.” For I’ve suffered much under the merciless whip of many gospel distortions, and I’ve put others in that position.
It was all about “the victorious Christian life”—overcoming and never underachieving, kind of like having a type A personality on spiritual steroids. I didn’t think in terms of sufficient grace, I wanted replacement grace—getting rid of anything unpleasant in my life. Hardships and calamities were things to “claim” one’s way out of, not opportunities for suffering to the glory of God.
Thank you, Father, for rescuing me from this and other misrepresentations of life in Christ. Thank you for the godly men and women you’ve brought into my life over the years, the humble and courageous servants of Jesus who’ve helped me understand the true riches of the gospel and the way of the cross. Increase their tribe, Lord, increase their tribe. Make of me such a bold lover and servant, no matter how difficult the providence.
Father, I know I’m not to be defined by my weakness and brokenness; I realize this Scripture says we are to boast in, not about our weaknesses, but I realize, more than ever, that it’s in my brokenness where Jesus meets me. And I am a weak man. I have no ability to change my heart; I can’t even change my oil. I very much want your power to rest on me, Father. I very much need for your power to rest on me. I am desperate for all the empowering, transforming grace you will give me.
As you continue to humble and gentle my heart, greatly increase my compassion toward others in their weaknesses and brokenness. Forgive my irritation, impatience, and avoidance of people whose need is much greater than my supply. Forgive me when I try to fix people rather than love them.
What a wonderful, merciful Savior you are, Jesus. Indeed, it was because you embraced the weakness of the cross that I can gladly boast in the weaknesses of my life and the more than sufficient supply of your grace. What a most profound, liberating, and hope-filled paradox. So very Amen I pray, in your holy and loving name.