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Weakness – A Reason to Rejoice

April 17, 2017

Sermon of the Day: Christ’s Power Is Made Perfect In Weakness

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV

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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Following last week’s email the Lord was able to make a connection for me. Heavy hearted in prayer I really have been searching God for answers, what does it look like for me to suffer for Christ? The Holy Spirit reminded me of this verse, these verse has also come to life for me over the last month or two. So personally it was an amazing connection.

So I wanted to find a little more depth and clarity of what this verse means. So I turned to the ever consistent teaching of John Piper at Desiring God. Men this ministry is so amazing and such a blessing to over a million people world wide (according to their website statistics). Thank you Pastor John and the entire staff of Desiring God for making this amazing ministry available to those who hunger for the truth.

I took notes on the message above, and I would like to share that with you today. So lets begin.

Pastor John had a few questions throughout this sermon. The first question was, What is weakness?

Well according to verse 10 above, it is insults, hardships, persecution and calamity. Paul is not talking about sin or imperfect behaviors. Sin may make us look weak, however if we had the physical or mental strength we could change it. The weakness Paul is talking about here is more about situations, circumstances and wounds that are greater than us. Things that are out of our reach and control to fix.

This made total sense to me. I have been guilty of this kind of mindset. I make a decision where sin takes place. Then in my misery and consequences, I feel pitied and think that this suffering is for Christ. I couldn’t be more off track. My suffering is 100% my fault.

So where does this weakness come from?

Paul’s is given a thorn in the flesh. Verses 1-4 of this chapter describe an amazing experience God allowed Paul to have. This experience would have caused Paul to feel exalted and prideful. God places some type of thorn, no one knows exactly what that thorn was. It was some type of difficulty that was placed there to keep him humble. We also know that Paul prayed 3 times for it to be removed and the Lord answered Paul in verse 9.

Verse 7 says a messenger of Satan was involved. So we see both God and Satan at work here. Yet Satan is in this situation to destroy, God allows Satan in so God can save Paul. Satan wants Paul to swell with pride. God wants Paul humbled in holiness, we see that from verse 7 above, just like God humbled Job.

So we must know that some weakness comes from Satan. But God controls Satan. And God promises:

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

What is the purpose?

So why do hardships plague us? Satan’s purpose is to harass or beat you. Paul prayed for relief and God met him. God’s purpose is to humble us. We all need more humbling from the Lord. God may allow us to the mountaintop but then bring us through anguish of soul to remind us we did nothing. Its all HIM! God’s purpose is to glorify Jesus’s power. It looks different then the world because through the weakness, Christ shines. Unlike the world, power, prestige, success, etc. shines.

In these times of weakness we find strength to endure that is from Christ. We also learn to trust Him on a greater level, trusting Him that the hardship is for our good.

The ultimate purpose of God in our weakness is to glorify the kind of power that moved Christ to the cross and kept him there until the work of love was done.

1 Corinthians 1:23

… but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles…

What we need most will not be quick relief. We need to remain in the hardships until the work of love and grace is done. We need to remain so the power of Christ is made perfect in our weakness and it can be a light to a lost soul.

desiringgod.org

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