We are weak…yet by God’s power we will live with Him to serve you.”-2 Corinthians 13:4 (NIV).
And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.- 2 Corinthians 12:9
God loves to use weak people. Everyone has weaknesses. In fact, you have a bundle of flaws and imperfections: Physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. You may also have uncontrollable circumstances that weaken you, such as financial or relational limitations. The more important issue is what you do with these. Usually we deny our weaknesses, defend them, excuse them, hide them, and resent them. This prevents God from using them the way He desires.
God has a different perspective on your weaknesses. He says, “My thoughts and my ways are higher than yours”, so He often acts in ways that are the exact opposite of what we expect. We think that God only wants to use our strengths, but He also wants to use our weaknesses for His glory. The Bible says, “God purposely chose…what the world considers weak in order to shame the powerful”,-1 Corinthians 1:27. Your weaknesses are not an accident. God deliberately allowed them in your life for the purpose of demonstrating His power through you.
God has never been impressed with strength or self-sufficiency. In fact, He is drawn to people who are weak and admit it. Jesus regarded this recognition of our need as being “poor in spirit”. It’s the number one attitude He blesses. The Bible is filled with examples of how God loves to use imperfect, ordinary people to do extraordinary things in spite of their weaknesses. If God only used perfect people, nothing would ever get done, because none of us is flawless. God using imperfect people is encouraging news for all of us.
A weakness, or “thorn” as Paul called it, is not a sin or a vice character defect that you can change, such as overeating or impatience. A weakness is any limitation that you inherited or have no power to change. It may be a physical limitation, like a handicap, a chronic illness, naturally low energy, or a disability. It may be an emotional limitation, such as a trauma scar, a hurtful memory, a personality quirk, or a hereditary disposition. Or it may be a talent or intellectual limitation. We’re not all super bright or talented.
When you think of the limitation in your life, you may be tempted to conclude, “God could never use me”. But God is never limited by our limitations. In fact, He enjoys putting His great power into ordinary containers. The Bible says, “We are like clay jars in which this treasure is stored. The real power comes from God and not from us”. -2 Corinthian 4:7 Like common pottery, we are fragile and flawed and break easily. But God will use us if we allow Him to work through our weaknesses. For that to happen, we must follow the model of Paul.
Admit your weaknesses. Own up to your imperfections. Stop pretending to have it all together, and be honest about yourself. Instead of living in denial or making excuses, take the time to identify your personal weaknesses. If you want God to use you, you must know who God is and know who you are. Many Christians, especially leaders, forget the second truth: We’re only human! If it takes a crisis to get you to admit this, God won’t hesitate to allow it, because He loves you.
Be content with your weaknesses. We want to be freed from our weaknesses, not be content with them! But contentment is an expression of faith in the goodness of God. It says, “God, I believe you love me and know what’s best for me”. Whenever you feel weak, God is reminding you to depend on Him. Our weaknesses also prevent arrogance. They keep us humble. God often attaches a major weakness to a major strength to keep our egos in check. Our weaknesses also encourage fellowship between believers.
Honestly share your weaknesses. The more you let down your guard, take off your mask , and share your struggles, the more God will be able to use you in serving others. It can be scary to lower your defenses and open up your life to others. When you reveal your failures, feelings, frustrations, and fears, you risk rejection. But the benefits are worth the risk. Opening up relieves stress, defuses your fears, and is the first step to freedom. We have already seen that God “gives grace to the humble“, but many misunderstand humility. Humility is not putting yourself down or denying your strengths; rather, it is bein honest about your weaknesses. The more honest you are, the more of God’s grace you get. You will also receive grace from others.
Glory in your weaknesses. Instead of posing as self-confident and invincible, see yourself as a trophy of grace. When Satan points out your weaknesses, agree with him and fill your heart with praise for Jesus, who, ‘understands every weakness of ours,” and for the Holy Spirit, who “helps us in our weakness”. Sometimes, however, God turns a strength into a weakness in order to use us even more. If you want God to bless you and use you greatly, you must be willing to walk with a limp the rest of your life, because God uses weak people!