About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Working With Weakness  


Anyone who likes music, as I do, likes listening to music through a good quality sound system.  I like to hear the highs, the lows, and everything in between.  I like to hear the electric Fender guitar out of the right speaker, the harmonica out of the left speaker, and the keyboard, bass, and drums out of both speakers.  I just like listening to good music.


Years ago I learned that a sound system is only as good as its weakest component.  You may have the best speakers, the best amplifier, but if your speaker wires are of poor quality, your music will reflect that poor quality.  With all aspects of life, working with weakness is an issue.  Does the Bible say anything about working with our personal weaknesses or the weakness in others?


Sometimes our strengths inhibit us from effectively doing God's will.  We try to accomplish His will by ourselves.  Weakness, however, can be a tool in the hand of God.  When we are humbled by weakness, God can step in and use us to demonstrate His power and glory, as seen in the life of the apostle Paul.  2 Corinthians 12:9 reads:   


"But he [Jesus] said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.'"


Paul never allowed his weakness to mess up his mission.  It was through a weakness that he actually got to preach the gospel to the Galatians.  Galatians 4:13 reads:


"... you know that previously I preached the gospel to you because of a weakness of the flesh."


We perceive weakness as a problematic deficiency, but that is not necessarily how the Bible views weakness.  2 Corinthians 13:4 reads:


"For he [Jesus] was crucified in weakness, but he lives by the power of God.  For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by God's power."


Weakness didn't seem to be a problem with Jesus or Paul.  Neither got bent out of shape over it, and they certainly did not let it sidetrack them from their task at hand.  Being humbled by weakness was one way God's strength was demonstrated in their lives.  We have much to learn from this.   


Our human tendency is to give into our weaknesses.  By so doing, we fail to carry out our individual God-given tasks.  We also withdraw ourselves from those we are called alongside in church because of their irritating weaknesses.  These broken relationships prevent the church from accomplishing its God-appointed mission.         


I understand that certain weaknesses do prevent us from doing certain things.  Being legally blind restricts me from doing things I'd love to do in the service of the Lord, but that does not make my life unusable to Jesus.  God's glory can be demonstrated in my weakness, and the same goes for you.


I am not glorifying weakness.  I am not suggesting we pathetically muddle around in our weakness.  I am saying that despite our weaknesses, Jesus can accomplish His will in our lives more than most think.  I am saying that when we extend grace to those who irritate us because of their weakness, God's glory can be demonstrated in the church, thus accomplishing His will.  

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