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.
Thoughts for Today:In our passage today, Paul expresses his revelation that it was only when he gave up his will to the Lord, that the Lord's power was made perfect in his personal weakness. In other words, the Lord shows to us His great strength when we end our demands of Him and yield to Him. It's the way Christ's power is revealed and demonstrated in our lives.
Paul had a lot of reasons to trust in himself, much more so than his critics. He had a great lineage, educational background, and very successful pastoral record. Yet, Paul had learned the lesson of not relying upon his own experience and ability. In fact, he counted all his accomplishments as garbage (Philippians 3:7-8). Paul was totally dependent upon Christ living in him. He learned to accept weakness (becoming weak in himself) so Jesus could emerge as his strength. (Galatians 2:20: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.")
The Lord may not always intervene in any problem or persecution we may encounter; however, He will always provide us with the strength to endure. Capturing the essence of this thought, nineteenth century clergyman Phillip Brooks (1836-1893) once wrote: "Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks." The true power we need to persevere, overcome or endure can only come from the Lord.
Questions to Ponder:What have you been praying for? Is it for any easier life or for greater strength? How can the Lord's power be demonstrated in your weakness? As you think about this question, consider another of my favorite quotes from Phillip Brooks: "Christianity helps us face the music even when we don't like the tune." What tune is being played out in your life? Is Christ's power resting upon you?