There is Strength in Weakness
There is Strength in Weakness
"That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong." -2 Corinthians 12:10
A while ago, we posted an iDevo devotion about glorifying God with excellence and worshiping Him with our gifts and talents. God is certainly glorified by those things. However, He is also certainly glorified by the areas where we are weak. If we were completely gifted in every facet of life, we wouldn't need God for anything, because we could just do it ourselves. We all have areas of weakness, and God uses those to show that He is strong. And when God shows His strength, we see that even our own strengths really aren't very amazing compared to His!
In Judges, there is a man named Samson. He was a man gifted with incredible strength. His great strength came from God's Spirit. God commanded Samson to keep a Nazirite vow (for the specifics of this vow, see Numbers 6:1-21). Part of this vow required Samson to keep his hair long in order to keep his strength. Samson was so incredibly strong that he ripped apart a lion with his bare hands and killed a thousand Philistine men with a donkey's jawbone. However, Samson's weakness was obedience. He did not keep his hair long, nor did he keep himself away from dead people (dead bodies were considered unclean in Jewish law). He also married a Philistine woman. Because of Samson's disobedience, his strength left him and the Philistines captured him, making him a spectacle. Samson, who had always depended on his great strength, found himself in a place where his strength had left him. Don't we all find ourselves in this place at some point? What do we do when we are weak?
Paul tells us to boast about these times, because God's "power works best in weakness." It has been the times where I am weakest that God has moved the most. God uses our weakness to speak to us. When we are weak, we are humble because we can't rely on ourselves. When we are humble, we are able to hear what God is saying better, because we are not focused on ourselves. All we have to do is allow ourselves to be filled with the Holy Spirit. In Judges 16:28-31, Samson is at his weakest point, but he allows the Holy Spirit to fill him up and give him strength. God gives him his strength back and he kills three thousand Philistines in one mighty feat of strength (that's more than he had killed up to this point).
God wants us to use our strengths for His glory, but even more than God wants us to be strong, He wants us to be weak. When we are weak, He has more room to show off. This doesn't mean we should make ourselves less than who we are or that we should stifle our strengths. It means we should embrace the areas where we are at our weakest and trust that God can and will use them for His glory.
"God, I pray that I would be humble about my strengths and hopeful about my weaknesses. I pray that I will embrace the areas where I am weak and allow you to be strong. Use both my strengths and my weaknesses, my successes and my failures, for your mighty, unshakable Kingdom. I know that my areas of weakness are areas of strength for you, and I want to be obedient to how you want to use them. Please use them. Amen."