Weakness

Who is going to talk about our weaknesses?

It was just a few days after my friend and colleague had died.

Simon’s life had tragically been cut short by cancer at the age of thirty-four leaving behind a beautiful young family. There were multitudes of questions circling my mind. This was the first one I scribbled down at the top of an empty page in my journal:

Who is going to talk about our weaknesses?

You see, I lead a Pentecostal church and we believe that ‘the prayer of faith will heal the sick.’ And we believe that there is ‘life and death in the power of the tongue’, and so we have determined to speak life-giving, faith-filed words.

And I am naturally a ‘glass-half-full’ person. My tendency is to believe that things will work out all right in the end.

But this time they didn’t.

This time human fragility and frailty took centerstage, and we discovered that being in-Christ does not make us invincible.

Now was the time to find ways to talk about our frailties, acknowledge our limits and admit that we are weak.

Now was the time to unearth a theology which says that God’s power is best seen in our powerlessness. That His strength is best experienced in our weakness.

This was a theology that the Apostle Paul embraced. This visionary, focused leader, surrounded by self-promoting ‘super-apostles’, chose to boast of the things that demonstrated his weakness. Ridiculous though it may sound, Paul chose to boast about his struggles, his persecutions, his fears, his humiliations, his disappointments and his rejections.

This wasn’t a natural choice for Paul.

On three occasions he had asked God to remove his super-weakness, his ‘thorn in the flesh’. Three times he fell on his knees and cried out:

‘God, would you take this weakness away!!’

‘God, I can’t take this anymore!!’

‘God, I need you to bring this to an end!!’

And each time a whisper from heaven came, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’

Paul had a revelation; he made a life-changing discovery: there is an experience of God’s power and God’s presence reserved for those who admit and embrace their weaknesses. That the life of Christ is more clearly seen in our weaknesses than in our strengths. That our greatest weaknesses perfectly position us to receive His perfect strength.

It’s time to uncover a LIE. The LIE that says:

When I am weak, then I am powerless.

When I am weak, then I am defeated.

When I am weak, then I am overcome.

When I am weak, then I am beaten.

And it’s time to reveal the TRUTH:

When I am weak, then I am strong, because my weakness provides an opportunity for Christ to showcase His power and His presence in me.

As I picked up my journal that day, and started to scribble down some of my reflections about the final year of Simon’s life and the interactions I had with him in person, on-line and via WhatsApp, I reflected on aspects of the presence of Jesus I witnessed in his final season of physical weakness. I reflected on how, remarkably, the gentleness, the kindness, the goodness and the generosity of Jesus came into clearer focus as Simon became weaker.

At this stage of my life, I’m discovering that there’s something that happens when a person comes to the end of their ego-driven vain attempts to control their own life. There’s something that happens when a person comes to the end of their efforts to make themselves look stronger than they really are, more successful than they really are, more confident than they really are and they come to Him in a posture of inner-yieldedness, a posture of surrender. That posture of submission becomes the basis for their freedom and all their joy and all their peace; because when they stop pretending that they’re strong and embrace the reality that they are weak; that they are a ‘jar of clay’ that has multiple frailties and fractures, then Christ’s power rests on them.

Please:

Stop pretending that you have no weaknesses.

Stop pretending you’re invincible.

Stop hiding your frailties.

Stop pretending you have no limitations.

Delight in the mystery that those things perfectly position your life for an infilling of Christ’s power and His loving presence!

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Published by

Pastor Duncan Clark

I love being married to Helen. I love being dad to Ben, Hannah, Daniel and Ruby. I love being the Senior Pastor of Coventry Elim Church (www.elim-coventry.org.uk) I love that I get to run, read, lead and loads of other great stuff!

5 thoughts on “Weakness

  1. Thank you. That is so true. I may be wrong but a great deal of men feel that they must be super heroes.

  2. Thank you for sharing. It’s always difficult when we expect a miracle and it doesn’t happen. As you say, time to admit that God is made perfect in our weaknesses. We need to hand the control of our life over to Him.

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