"But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
When we are poured out, Christ’s power can be poured in. When we depend on our efforts, our work, and our discipline, we distract from the power of Christ. But if we come to Christ with nothing, surrender, and give Him control to work through us, we empty ourselves to weakness, but are then filled with Christ’s power. We are far stronger when our foundation is surrender and weakness rather than self-effort and pride. Christ uplifts the humble, gives favor to the meek, joy to the mourning, satisfaction to the thirsty, and sight to the pure in heart. (Matthew 5)
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things, and the things that are not to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God. That is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:27-31
We must understand that we are insufficient to appreciate the grace given to us that is sufficient. We are but jars of clay, unimpressive and frail, but this weakness highlights and contrasts against what the jar holds; the all-surpassing power of God. So then we must pray for Christ’s power that doesn’t take away our afflictions but strengthens our shoulders to endure them, which establishes humility and sanctification. Christ makes us strong, gives us worth, and uses us for His powerful kingdom plan.
The thing you are holding so close that you never want to lose may be the very thing that molds you into who you want to become if you do.
Are you experiencing hardship and trial? It is not wrong to want to escape affliction, but in your pleading with God to have it removed, ask God for His will to be done according to his timeline and ask that He would strengthen you and reveal the purpose of your suffering. He just might be allowing it so that you are conformed more closely to the image of His son. You can play it safe. But my gut is you want more than that. I choose different. I am a faith-filled, bet-the-farm risk-taker. I will never insult God with small thinking or safe living. If there are blessings on the other side of brokenness, then break me.
Questions to ponder:
What are you losing by clinging to your comfort?
What are you missing out on because we’re so committed to avoiding pain and discomfort?
Do you believe you’re a part of something bigger than yourself? Then why do you only rely on yourself to get it done?