The Gift of Weakness

Repentant Young Man

Have you ever prayed for something and seemed to be ignored? We’ve heard many times that the Bible is its own best commentary. When our prayers seem unanswered we need go no farther than the Word for understanding (James 4:3; Psalm 66:18; Proverbs 1:22-33; 1 John 5:16; Hebrews 12:8 plus all of the verses instructing us how to pray effectively). Having seen several miraculous healings in my lifetime, I have also seen cases where God denied healing; and while I have sometimes discerned possible scriptural reasons, this reason eluded me.

Three times the Apostle Paul asked God to heal him. Three times God refused. He would give Paul instead the gift of weakness. “My strength is made perfect in weakness,” God said.

Paul, the apostle to the non-Jewish population; Paul, the writer of a majority of the New Testament letters to churches and individuals; Paul with a murderous fundamentalist Jewish past, was chosen to receive the gift of weakness, and consequently become a showcase of the strength of Almighty God.

Have you ever wondered how Paul could go through so many tragedies and get up to walk on? He was stoned until thought dead, shipwrecked in storms and left floating in the sea a day and night, he was hunted, jailed, beaten, bitten by a deadly snake, and still he lived–and lived effectively!

God’s strength is perfected in those chosen to receive the gift–the gift of weakness. The key is in the first part of the verse–“My grace is sufficient for you.” Instead of kicking at the weakness, embrace it–with God’s grace–and become a showcase of the strength of the Almighty God!