"Strength and Weakness"
October 7, 2005Email to a FriendPrint
My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
It is not only the bite of a shark but also the sting of a jellyfish that can kill a person. People of physical strength can hurt others, but so can the physically weak when they tell lies, spread gossip, give wrong advice, write bad checks, steal.
But physical weakness can also have a constructive side. The apostle Paul at one time in his life had a debilitating "thorn in the flesh" (2 Corinthians 12:7), perhaps some kind of a physical ailment. But he nevertheless fulfilled his calling as Christ's witness. God gave him the promise: "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Chapter 11 of the Hebrews epistle recalls the role of Old Testament saints who prevailed through their strong faith in the God of their salvation. It states their "weakness was turned to strength" (Hebrews 11:34).
A similar chapter of New Testament saints could be written. In the temple of Jerusalem, presumably aged and physically frail, Simeon and Anna confessed strong faith in the Christ Child and told others of Him. In Joppa a woman named Tabitha (Dorcas in Greek) earned the gratitude of the poor for the great work she did, not with a sharp sword, not with a sledgehammer, but with the needle as a seamstress. We go next to Ephesus, where toward the end of the first century we find the apostle John, close to a hundred years old and so weak he had to be carried to worship assemblies. Yet he served faithfully and effectively, telling people about God's love in Christ. Back in Jerusalem, little children in the temple, so young and frail that they are referred to as "babes and sucklings," sing praises to Christ.
The physically weak in today's Christendom can and do render effective service to Jesus Christ, their Savior. Unable to do heavy physical work or to be world travelers as missionaries, they can and do, as the hymn lines suggest, "tell the love of Jesus" and can "say He died for all."
PRAYER: Lord God, show me the opportunities to serve You amid my weaknesses and handicaps. In Jesus' name, Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, 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. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)