Experiencing weakness doesn’t mean God is far from you. Weakness actually brings Him nearer. We become more dependent on Him, leaning on Him more heavily. This builds trust in Christ that is sweeter, fellowship with the Father that is more intimate, and a flow of divine grace that becomes a powerful river in our lives.
In Genesis 32, we see three “marks” from God on Jacob’s life through the process of wrestling. We read how God re-defined Jacob’s identity to reveal his true created purpose, and we saw how the wrestling process brought Jacob into a face to face encounter with God. These are obvious blessings, evidence that the Father designs trials not to harm us, but to take us deeper into His heart.
The blessing seems a little less obvious with God’s third “mark” on Jacob. It says, “He touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled…The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.” (Gen 32:25,31) God left Jacob with pain and a limp; how is this a good thing? The picture is of a man, previously walking hard and fast in his own strength to achieve significance, now staggering along as a sign of his overwhelming need for God’s help to become what he was destined to be. The limp made Jacob “lean on God”. And so God got what is most precious: He got Jacob’s heart, his trust. In the months and years after his experience with God, Jacob’s limp would keep his heart in the sweet place of dependence, and this would ensure that God’s work would be completed for the father of Israel and His descendants.
Weakness is a normal state of the Christian walk. In fact we should learn to enjoy it. These are Paul’s thoughts on the matter: He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong…For to be sure, He was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him to serve you. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, 13:4
The human perspective of weakness is that its awful. We want to get over it, to get strong and back into control. Often we’re disappointed that God has not yet answered our prayers to remove the problem, whatever it is. But weaknesses are not an obstacle to God’s purpose for our lives, they are the pathway! The Father’s way for us is to embrace Him rather than trying to escape the problem.
In your weaknesses and challenges, the Father invites you to reach out for His unfailing love, to draw on His grace and to embrace Him more tightly. Throw off your disappointment and frustration and rejoice in the opportunity to trust Him. Lift your weaknesses up to Him, and He will replace them with His strength day by day, and will put His arms around you to support your “limp”. Christ will make His power rest on you.
His power is made perfect in weakness.
4 thoughts on “Weakness is not an obstacle to God’s purposes, it is the pathway to Christ’s power resting on your life”
This principle of acknowledging our weakness in Christ is a treasure. It touches on redefining spiritual success and failure. Peter did not fail when he looked at the waves and sank. He knew on Whom to call and was saved. That is success, not failure. Thanks Rob.
The principle of weakness in Christ is a treasure. It touches on redefining spiritual success and failure. Peter did not fail when he looked at the waves and sank. He knew on Whom to call and was saved. We will “limp” on to victory guaranteed by Jude 24. Thanks Rob.
Rob, it’s like God is taking us through the same exact scriptures this week! But He is teaching me through your pastors heart here more than I observed. I have been in and out of surgery (4 procedures) and ICU in Fourways Joburg for 34 days now with a somewhat serious and rare condition. This God ordained trial has taken Holly and I and our 4 children to our knees in relentless prayer but we have found so much peace and answered prayer in this valley. And we have felt His care as the strength of the prayers of the saints and the promises of God have covered over our every fear. The promises we savor the most are the ones that Jacob, and Joshua, and Paul, and Peter received about the trials and tribulations and weaknesses they would experience for the purpose that His power would be made perfect only in the midst of hardship. . . At the end of the tether. I am only 41 and have always considered myself healthy and fit. Now I am seeing how that can be a huge liability. Weakness is the opposite of an obstacle when it is our father who touches our hip and humbles us and takes our burden upon Him and teaches us. Even Jesus prayed that the cup would pass from him, but the father delighted to give him up for us all. How much more trial will we face. Sometimes Jesus chose to heal dead people who didn’t have any faith. Once power went out from him the minute his garment was touched. Other times it took some measure of faith on the part of the suffering to be healed. But that faith was a gift in the first place. As is every trial. I would trade this trial for anything as its so obvious to Holly and I that God is healing our marriage, increasing our faith, and showing us his perfected power every day. All things work together for our good. And sometimes our “good” looks like peace and health and promotion to God. But other times his plans are even better and involve a desert or a valley or a trial of harsh up where we are weak and limping and humbled… And he is Good!! (Heb 4:15)
Wow friend! We stand with you. Read also Ps 139 and John 14-16. The Lord has been encouraging me greatly from these along the same lines as Gen 32. On Sunday I woke up feeling burdened and saying ‘I don’t know if I can keep holding on to God like Jacob did’. And then Ps 139 hit me: ‘even there your hand will hold me fast’. When your faith dims, He stays faithful!
For you friend He’s saying from Jn 15 ‘you did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to bear much fruit. Fruit that will last’!