He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless.
2 Corinthians 12:10
Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
These two verses are at least challenging, if not completely out of reach for most people. Paul was certainly an incredible servant of the Gospel. His life and commitment to the mission of God testifies to the truth revealed to Ananias (the man who came to Paul and healed him from his blindness, cf. Acts 9:10-19). When Ananias was told to go heal Paul from his blindness God reveals Paul’s future to Ananias: “this man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name” (Acts 9:15-16).
Paul lived out the prophecy of God – that hard path of pain, suffering, hardship, persecution, and insults. And he was content with all that. He had learned that in his weakness God was strongly at work in him. He learned that Christ and his mission was worthy of even the most severe suffering.
But that’s Paul, not David, Tom, Sarah, Daryn, or [insert your name here], right?!? Truly that is the case. Paul was a singularly significant servant of Jesus Christ. He embraced the truth of Isaiah’s testimony. God gives power to the weak, and strength to the powerless. Perhaps, however, that is exactly where we can be more like Paul than we might imagine. We are powerless to live a life like Paul. We are too weak to take on years of missionary journeys and the rigors of foreign mission efforts.
Into that weakness God pours strength, grace, power and mercy. In those places of failure and hopelessness God’s love, forgiveness, and redemption finds a sweet repose. If we did not need a Savior, salvation, and rescue from sin and Satan, Isaiah’s words would be meaningless. But we who are able to acknowledge our need may rejoice in God’s provision. Thanks be to God!