How God’s strength is revealed in our weakness

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By Obinna SMOG Ejianya (9News Nigeria – Melbourne, Australia)

The Bible says that Woe is the man who puts his trust in the flesh. God said this because he understands how weak the flesh can be. No matter how strong a man can claim to be, he can be found to be weak just the next minute in a different scenario of life. (Jeremiah 17:5)

In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, the apostle Paul speaks about a personal struggle or “thorn in the flesh” that he faced. He asked God to remove it, but God responded by saying that His grace was sufficient for Paul and that His power is actually made perfect in weakness. Paul then goes on to say that he will boast about his weaknesses because it is through his weaknesses that Christ’s power can rest upon him. He even expresses delight in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties because when he is weak, he experiences the strength of Christ. This passage emphasizes the paradoxical nature of God’s strength being revealed in our weaknesses, highlighting the transformative power of God’s grace in our lives.

What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?

– Psalm 8:4

There are many examples throughout the Bible demonstrating that God’s strength is often revealed in the midst of human weakness; and that God empowers individuals who recognize their own limitations and rely on Him, showing that His power transcends human frailty.

Samson was a judge of Israel known for his incredible physical strength. However, he also had personal weaknesses, particularly when it came to his relationships with women. Despite his flaws, God used Samson’s strength to accomplish His purposes and deliver the Israelites from their enemies.

Elijah was a man known to be a great prophet of his time to the extent that he declared that there would never be any rain in the land of Samaria according to his word, and according to his prayer there was no rain in Samaria for a complete 3 years and 6 months, and he prayed again and there was rain.

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Elijah also was the instrument God used to challenge Jezebel and her prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel where Elijah demonstrated the raw power of God by calling down the fire of God to consume the sacrificed cows. On that same day, 400 prophets of Baal were killed at the command of Elijah.

Elijah’s encounter with God can be described as absolute. In fact, according to the Bible Elijah did not die a natural death, but he literally ascended into heaven, taken up by a chariot of fire.

However, in different accounts of the Holy Bible, Elijah faced some circumstances that revealed his total weakness as a human being. Elijah was afraid and weak to the extent that he desired that God should take away his life. Without God’s intervention and his grace which he made available to him, Elijah would not have reached the peak of his ministry on earth and made it to be taken to heaven. Elijah would have fallen in faith or may have been killed by a human sword as Jezebel threatened.

On the other hand, John the Baptist was confessed by our Lord Jesus Christ as the greatest prophet born of women, and according to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus himself identified John as “Elijah who is to come.”

Yet, when the weakness in humans took over John, he began to question the reality of Jesus Christ whom he previously confirmed as the son of God who has come to set the world free from sin. John the Baptist was the one to prepare the way for the Messiah and point people to him, but he began to doubt if Jesus Christ was truly the son of God, the messiah who was to save his people.

The grace of God was not available for John the Baptist as Jesus said: “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” John became less than the least in the Kingdom of Heaven because of his doubts and unbelief in a challenging circumstance and he was killed in the way he died.

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We can also count on Peter who at different times showed weakness and almost lost the ministry of being the rock upon which the gospel of Jesus Christ was built on earth.

Peter denied Jesus Christ three times before his crucifixion, and after his crucifixion and resurrection, Peter was weak and wanted to go back to his fishing profession other than being the fisher of men as he was mandated by Jesus Christ.

The difference in every child of God is the power of God which is always revealed when we are weak. God does not give up on us when we demonstrate that we are weak. God only abandons us when we start to feel that we are too strong to be human, and then ignorantly we start to play the role of God in our life. Hebrews 4:15–16

Over familiarity with God and overconfidence in our religiosity can make us to ignore the fact that no matter how anointed or loved by God we are, we are still human and fallible. We can fail ourselves and others who put their trust in us. Romans 8:26

When we overtrust someone, we forget the humanness of those people and then we become very disappointed in them when we notice their weakness. It could be people we held in very high esteem especially people of faith such as pastors or church leaders. We often forget that these are also just human beings who are enjoying the grace of God to accomplish what they can accomplish through God. Jeremiah 17:5

In the same way, we can also overrate ourselves and forget that we are just humans, and then when the weak nature of humans takes hold of us, we distance ourselves from God because we believe that we should be like God. But God always waits for us to show his greatness and power through our weakness. – 2 Corinthians 11:30

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One of the major characteristics of David that made him man after God’s heart is that David always understands that he is just an ordinary man who has no strength. He understands that he is nothing without God’s grace. He understands that without the mercy of God, he would have been destroyed. David always goes to God for strength and always begs God not to take away his presence from him but to always show him mercy. Psalm 8:3-4 and Psalm 51.

God is ready to pick us up from where our weakness has brought us down. He understands that we are formed in weakness and not strong and he is always there for us. He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Romans 5:6

2 Corinthians 12:9 -10 reads: 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. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Written by Obinna SMOG Ejianya (9News Nigeria – Melbourne, Australia)

Obinna Ejianya writes from Melbourne, Australia
Obinna Ejianya writes from Melbourne, Australia
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