“Although he was crucified in weakness, he now lives by the power of God. We, too, are weak, just as Christ was, but when we deal with you we will be alive with him and will have God’s power.” – 2 Corinthians 13:4
We live in a culture that admires and promotes the powerful. The business world is built upon the premise that more power is better and the one with the most power wins. While the world caters to the powerful, for many of us much of life involves trying to cope with the times when we are powerless, overwhelmed and looking for answers.
That was the position King Jehoshaphat found himself in and it is sometimes the reality for each of us as well. It is tough to have a problem without a solution. No one wants to be weak, at least not if they have a choice. We all want to be physically and emotionally strong, rich and competent. And good looking wouldn’t hurt either. And like Walter Mitty, we sometimes dream about being such a person.
But like King Jehoshaphat, we often find ourselves lacking the ability to deal with our circumstances when we get overwhelmed. We often find ourselves powerless. Though the world looks at these times of being powerless as the ultimate failure, scripture sees it as an opportunity to receive a blessing from God. “That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)
God is our strength. There are days when I am overwhelmed. He empowers me to handle it. There are days when I wonder if the money will be there when the bills come. Somehow He provides a way and the bills are paid. There are days when I doubt His presence. But then He is there. There are days when temptations seem too strong for me to resist. Somehow He provides a way of escape or strength to resist. There are days when I feel almost worthless. Somehow He reminds me of the price that has been paid for me. There are days when when I am weak. Somehow He makes me strong.
Chances are good that sometime in your life you will find yourself faced with a situation that you cannot control. It may be a business deal, it may be a relationship, or it may be a family crisis. You are totally and absolutely powerless to fix it, change it, undo it, or improve it. It may be the result of your own actions, or it may not be. Regardless, you are powerless.
Being powerless may feel wrong and unfair at the time, but you may be in the best situation of your life to experience the grace and power of God. Though it appears hopeless, you can recover if you will allow God to come to you in your powerless state and do what only He can do: “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
- In what way(s) have you found being powerless difficult or easy?
- What are the things only God can do? What are the things only you can do? Do you find yourself trying to do the things only God can do?
- In what ways do you need God to be strong in your weakness at this time in your life?
- What do you think needs to change in your life so that you can regularly experience God’s love for yourself? And what do you have the power to change?