But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
True power needs to last. Many distance runners start with a burst of energy but fade on the stretch. The best athletes sometimes lose to a steadier team which takes better conditioning into the final quarter or overtime period. We are describing staying power.
Yes, God provides a power source unlimited in the resurrection of His Son. He also supplies Word power, the Gospel, to unlock that power source. And He intends for us to use His resources to keep going over the long haul, to have staying power.
Paul, the great on-the-go missionary, learned the importance of staying power when God sent him a thorn in the flesh, some illness or physical handicap that simply wouldn’t go away. Paul prayed and hoped, but the problem remained. Discouraged and frustrated, Paul finally got the message of our text. Paul was being conditioned for the long haul. He felt weak and unable to continue. At that point he learned to accept his weakness and rely totally on God’s grace and power. Now he could face any troubles, because Christ was always there for him.
Similarly we will experience discouragement and frustration after our initial “going.” We will experience God’s testing in our personal lives as well as in our witnessing efforts. But God says also to us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” We look to the weak and helpless Son of God, nailed to a cross for us, and then experience His resurrection power flowing from the empty tomb to us in our weakness.
PRAYER: Thank You, dear Lord, for staying by me and always being there for me. Amen.
(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)