How can being weak be liken to strength? I’m always puzzled whenever I read this passage: “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. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. “ 2 Cor 12:9-10.
Weakness that Paul was saying here can be an illness or physical dysfunction or maybe a spiritual temptation.
There are so many misinterpretations about this passage, I discover 2 of them:
1. “I’m weak in these things, so I’ll do it, because God will forgive me anyway.
2. “God wants me to be weak all the time so He will be glorified.”
When I was studying to preach last night (Weh Series), I got 2 realizations to answer the false interpretation of this passage.
1. God’s grace is not a license for us to be weak but a power for us to say no to ungodliness. God will forgive us when we fall, but the grace of God enables you to stand up again when we are about to give in and compromise. It’s an empowering grace, not a license to sin.
2. God is not a unjust that He would want us to be weak and defeated everyday so that He will be glorified. What Paul was mentioning in this passage is the acknowledgment that apart from Jesus He is weak. It’s not a state or moment of weakness but a being of weakness. And when we acknowledge that we are really weak without Him, then His grace flows and His power enables us to stand again and not quit.
When we are weak and acknowledge that we need Him, the finish work of Jesus is appropriated to us and His strength replaces our weakness and therefore we become strong!
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6