Prayer Emphasis Week
Daily Devotional – Monday, September 27, 2021
“God told me, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 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 12:9-10, NLT)
It seems contradictory to our natural way of thinking, but according to Paul, our competencies can actually prevent us from experiencing the full power of God. How? The most effective disciples are those who have God’s power working in and through them. But the only way to experience God’s help is to first admit that you need it. How often do we forget our need of God’s help when things are going well? When all is good, we can quickly slide into the confident mode of, “I got this! Watch what I can do!” But, when we rely on our own strength, no matter how successful we appear to be, we will never know what God would be able to do through and in us without our egos getting in the way.
It’s when things aren’t going well, when we recognize our own inability to bring about a resolution to a problem, and we find ourselves losing control, that we cry out to God, “Help! I don’t have this. I need you, God!” That’s when God is free to allow His power to flow through us, because when He does act, there will be no question as to who should get the credit…it’s all God’s. We couldn’t move the mountain, but now the mountain is moved…that’s God’s power at work!
God knows that we can slide into independence unless we have regular reminders of our need to have an attitude of dependence on Him. God gave the Apostle Paul a mountain-sized task…to explain the New Covenant to the Jews and to bring the saving message of Jesus to the Gentiles. It was a mammoth job, and God had naturally gifted Paul. But there was still one thing he needed—something to keep him humble and reliant on God for His power to complete his God-given assignment. So God gave him a ‘thorn;’ some have suggested that Paul had failing eyesight and wished for God to heal him. It isn’t known for certain what his affliction was, only that he prayed three times for God to take it away and God refused, answering, “My grace is sufficient.” God knew that Paul would need to remain dependent on Him in order to complete the tasks He had created Him for…and He knew that a self-sufficient attitude would be a temptation for Paul, just as it is for many of us.
Contrary to popular opinion, our continued dependence on God is a good thing. As we continue to seek His help, He will continue to provide His power. When we give Him the credit for His achievements through us, His power can flow through us perfectly; but when we begin taking credit for the successes we experience through His help, His power will stop working in us because we no longer recognize God as the source. Paul recognized why God had refused his request and learned to thank God for every hardship; he knew that when he was at his weakest, he could experience God’s power more fully and would in fact no longer be personally weak, but spiritually strong. It is an attitude that every disciple should strive to embrace!
~ Pastor Jane
Song for Reflection - “Weakness for Strength” by Go Deep - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RQgbCchs9E
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!