November 19, 2008

Strength and Weakness

2 Corinthians 12:1-10

When I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10


The Corinthian church thought about strength in much the same way we do today. They assumed that believers are to be strong and should show their strength in demonstrations of power. That assumption was encouraged by the teachings of false apostles who claimed superiority to Paul and who derided him for his apparent weaknesses. The foundation of Paul’s apostleship was being attacked by members of the congregation who demanded signs and wonders. They claimed that anyone who wanted to provide leadership in the church needed first to prove their power.

We assume that strength and weakness are opposites. We think that first we are to be as strong as we can be on our own, and then we need to add God’s strength. On a good day, we think we can do all that needs to be done. On a poor day, we may need some help from God.

But Paul suggests that the relationship between strength and weakness is much more complex. In fact, as he learned from the Lord, God’s strength is revealed through our own weakness.

Paul had many reasons to boast, but he counted all those things as nothing for the sake of Christ’s excellence and strength.

Where is your strength found? Have you discovered the power of God’s strength through weakness?

Father, may your great strength show itself in our weakness as we let go and see your power at work. Help us trust you to do amazing things by your strength. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Brink

Rev. Harvey Brink has retired from active ministry in the Christian Reformed Church, having served congregations in Michigan, California, Iowa, New Jersey, Illinois, and
Washington. He and his wife Maxine live near their children and grandchildren in western Washington.

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