IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: MY STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNE
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
“My Grace is sufficient for you.” Let’s break this down. “Grace” – undeserved blessing, merciful kindness. “My Grace” – Merciful kindness flowing from Jesus himself. Where do we Jesus’ grace described? In 2 Corinthians 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” The grace of Jesus is the grace that flows from Jesus’ incarnation, where he gave up the riches of heaven to take on the poverty of human form. The grace of Jesus is the grace of the cross, where he gave up the riches of human acceptance, and political power, and an earthly reign for the poverty of being rejected, and falsely condemned, and crucified. This grace is sufficient for you. It’s enough. In your weaknesses, it’s all you need. You don’t need a vision or a revelation to keep you going. You don’t even need to have your weakness removed. All you need is the grace that flows from a God who would become man and give himself in your place, paying your debt, that you might be saved. The grace that flows from that singular act is sufficient for whatever this world or Satan may throw at you.
And here’s why: “for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Jesus Christ’s grace is inseparable from his power. “To be shown grace is to be given power.” Grace is more than a warm blanket to comfort us in our weakness – it’s fuel for our souls to power us through them. And when we turn to God for grace to be strengthened in our weakness – it is God who gets the glory.
All praise and glory goes to God when we go to him in our weakness and allow His grace to fuel us through them. When this happens, God’s power is put on display, His kingdom is advanced, and we are living within the purpose for which we were created – to bring Him glory.
If God gets glory through my weaknesses and afflictions, is it wrong for me to ask God to heal me of those things that pain me? My short answer is no. We live in a fallen world and God gets great glory when he shows his power over Satan and the world by healing us of those things that afflict us. So by all means – follow Paul’s example and pray for deliverance. But, if in prayer you come to the same conclusion as Paul, that this affliction is heaven sent, do not be discouraged. For there is also great glory (possibly greater glory) to be given to God when, rather than healing his children, and removing their source of weakness, he allows it to remain, so that they might come to him over and over and over in their weakness and so that he might meet them in their weakness with sustaining strength, over and over and over again.
For those of you who suffer regularly, or who watch loved ones suffer regularly, that may be very hard to hear. So a final word to you. You might ask, “Why? How could God allow that? Why would God allow such torment? Why would he allow a weakness that ultimately never ends until death?” To the one this describes here is where I would point you.
First, I’d point you to Psalm 63:3 which says, “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” Our affliction ought to drive us to Christ to receive his strength. To experience Jesus’ strengthening in our weakness is to experience the steadfast love of God. And, if this Psalm is true, an experience of the steadfast love of God is better than life itself. So for those who go to Christ and experience his steadfast love by being miraculously healed – they have a limited, albeit amazing, experience of that love. But those whose afflictions require them to go to Christ to be strengthened but who feel weak again the next day, or the next hour, or the next minute – and have to return to Christ again and again – they have a far greater experience of his love – and even if their weakness is so constant that it ruins their life and results in their own death – it does not mean we must question God’s purposes for them – for God’s steadfast love is better than life.
In our own weaknesses we experience the Lord’s strength. Each one of us may recall a time when we were weak yet the Lord was strong. We may have been physically sick and not so inspired to let our light shine with the joy of our salvation. Or may be there was a time of spiritual weakness when the devil came and tormented us with doubt and wondering. At the depth of our weaknesses we come to realize that there is no one who is able to help us and strengthen except God. In our weakness we discover God’s strength. We learn that we cannot help ourselves. “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength”
And never forget, His grace is sufficient for you, yes even you, for his power is made perfect in weakness.
Another Definition of God’s Grace
Grace according to Merriam-Webster is “an act…of kindness, courtesy, or clemency.”
Grace is the power of God made available to meet all our needs.” – Joyce Meyer
The power of God is made available to you! If you are struggling this morning with the issues of life, God’s power is made available because His grace is sufficient.
The Sufficiency of God’s Grace
II Corinthians 12:7-10 says, “…a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to torment me so I would not exalt myself. 8 Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me. 9 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. 10 So because of Christ, I am pleased in weaknesses, in insults, in catastrophes, in persecutions, and in pressures. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
I like this verse because it reminds me that my weakness is a good thing. When I am too weak to do what needs to be done, then God’s power is made perfect in my life. I am forced to rely on him. This is why His grace is so important.
God could have delivered Paul and said to him, “My power is made perfect in my deliverance.” He could have said, “My mighty deliverance is sufficient for you.” But he didn’t.
Instead, he left Paul in his crippled state and said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
God’s power is greatest when we’re at our weakest.
And what we need most in our weakness is God’s sufficient grace, not more strength and not a dramatic deliverance.
In other words, what we need most is NOT a chance in circumstances.
When Paul was at sea on his way to Rome and the mighty tempest hit him and the others on board, he was able to courageously encourage others. He told them, “But take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down. For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me” (Acts 27:22-23).
How was Paul able to be so confident?
He was conscious of the presence of God in the face of danger. He knew that God was there with him.
And God is with us in our storms as well. God will always give us what we need when we need it.
You are not alone. The Lord is standing next to you. He cares. Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
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