Embracing Weakness

Not to mention other things, there is the daily pressure on me: my concern for all the churches.  Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?  If boasting is necessary, I will boast about my weaknesses. ~ Apostle Paul

The Apostle Paul was a man who many said could not speak with much authority and grander. Some even doubted his apostleship and discounted his teachings, choosing instead to follow those that Paul so graciously labeled as “Super-Apostles.” Paul did not strut up and down the platform, stirring the crowd to a frenzy for Jesus. Nor did he promote himself using persuasive words of man’s wisdom. Paul was a simple truth teller; a man who took great pains at any cost to make the reputation of Christ great at the expense of his own.

Paul is a good example of the unseen pressure of ministry that many are unaware of. Paul bore the marks of a heart that was broken by those that simply would not devote themselves to the simple Christ. Many of his letters were written with tears, drenched in prayer, frustrated by those who fell back into sin, angry at the teachings of the Judaizers that caused some to stray from the grace of God in Christ Jesus.  Paul trained elders, watched over the flock of God, was attacked falsely, and found very few like his protégé, Timothy, who cared for the church with the same heart that he did. Paul not only had the pressures of one church, but many churches were in his prayers night and day. On top of that, he was willing to work with his hands so as not to take from any funds that the church might have. At the same time, he taught them the secret of being content in every circumstance, so that endurance may have its perfect work in building strong character.

Today, there are a few people in ministry that weep behind the scenes, and are carrying the burdens and the pressures. They preach and labor to make committed disciples, all while addressing from all sides the concerns of the church. They burn with indignation over those that continuously stumble in their faith, sorting through the many excuses and criticisms for their labors as ministers.

At last, those famous words of Christ speak to a discouraged Paul:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.”

Finally, there is a purpose in all the hardship: we must learn to take pleasure in the weaknesses, insults, hardships, and difficulties for his sake. Only then, my strength is the joy of Christ for yet another day.

Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. 10 So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10