by Steven Chan
We all have weaknesses. Sometimes these weaknesses prevent us from doing what we would like to do. The apostle Paul was a tireless preacher, travelling extensively to preach the gospel everywhere. One may have thought that Paul was a super-human to be able to do so much in his life for God.
In his letter to the church at Corinth, Paul revealed the amount of sufferings he went through as a minister of Christ: “in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?” (2 Cor 11:23-29)
He revealed his secret in being able to bear with all these challenges in his life, including the thorn in his flesh, in 2 Cor 12:9, when he said that after his prayer to the Lord: “He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Walking by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7), requires us to live each day by putting our trust in God that He will provide us with grace or strength and wisdom to live (Heb 2:18; 4:16; Eph 6:10) in such a way that we have no reason for not being able to do His will as best as we can.
In fact, according to Paul, when he is weak, then he is strong because then he can rely on the power of God. Perhaps, it is high time for more of us to really walk by faith and rely on God’s power, to do more for Him. Are we shy in speaking to others about Christ? Then we should pray and ask God for courage to do so as we rely on His power and wisdom. Our faith will then be strengthened. The early Christians prayed for boldness in the face of persecution: “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word” (Acts 4:29). They didn’t pray that they may be spared from the persecution. Instead, they prayed for boldness to speak God’s Word.
We should do the same so that we can also say with the beloved apostle Paul that “God’s grace is sufficient for us”. Our Almighty Creator God is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”(Eph 3:20-1). Let’s walk by faith and not by sight.