“His grace is sufficient for you. His power is made perfect in weakness…for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (1 Cor. 12:9,10).
What a paradox, not a contradiction. This is one of many such paradoxes in Christianity. Paul had learned the secret of being content in all circumstances, troubles and trials, saying, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13). Life and its challenges are faced by trusting and knowing that God will meet you in them. We are not alone in the trials. Although, at the darkest moments often it seems that God is not there.
I recall being in a desperate state of mind during a church schism as it and I were literally breaking up. Many people were jumping ship to save their lives. It reminded me of the story of the Oceanos, a luxury liner that ran aground off Africa in 1991. The story goes that as it ran aground, the captain and his crew abandoned ship immediately without telling passengers, leaving them to fend for themselves. It turns out that a musician onboard took the lead to organize the anxious multitude and lead them all to the lifeboats and safety.
This story parallels the great Bible story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. David, the small shepherd boy was the only one willing to face the giant. He had courage brought on by his faith in a powerful God who would deliver him through the trial. He slew the giant and brought great victory for the Israelites.
Now, as the church dissolved, I was the only pastoral staff member remaining to steady the tiller and right the ship. I was terrified and took my eyes off the Lord, just as Peter did in his trying to walk on the waves. He took his eyes off Jesus and saw the turbulence. Only when he cried out for help did Jesus reach out His hand and help him. Only when I cried for help did He steady me in leadership. On Pentecost Sunday the Holy Spirit descended with fire and power and healed me of fears and depression. Instantly, an overwhelming feeling of God’s prevailing presence brought strength to every part of me. God’s power was made perfect in my weakness. Praise and thanksgiving has filled me since. A habit of negative thinking and darkness instantly left me. A clear and vibrant, Spirit-filled presence has gone with me.
In this world power is strength through money or physical force. Business strength is not through humility but power. In the spiritual realm, God will supply all our needs in His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:18). His power is made perfect, complete in our worries and weakness.