I heard this word strongly in my spirit this past Sunday, “In weakness, God begins to manifest. In our weakness God begins to manifest. He manifests as we begin to trust and acknowledge Him.”
God began to declare two weeks ago in our services that His GRACE is sufficient. What is grace? Grace is God’s unmerited favor. It is His unearned blessing in your life. There is nothing you can do to work to get it. There are no good works that will position you to receive it. It is only by grace and faith in the blood that grace begins to manifest. His grace IS sufficient.
Paul, in 2nd Corinthians 12, begins to declare about the revelations that he had and the different things that God was showing him. God told Paul that there are things that haven’t even been said yet.
In verse 7 he said,
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
Let me ask you, have you ever been concerned about things “buffeting” you? Think about it, your finances are down, that buffets you. Physical problems happen and that buffets you. Family problems, they also buffet you. The list could go on and on. Are you being buffeted?
Here is what happens: When we begin to press in sometimes we will get a revelation from God. We may get a glimpse of the goodness of God. We realize, “Glory to God, God IS good” and that makes us shout!
Right after that, and all of a sudden, all hell breaks out in our life. Doubts begin to creep in. We question God’s goodness with thoughts like, “The Lord is good, I think. Isn’t He?” Our thinking gets jumbled with confusion over our strength and His strength. We question our ability and His ability. We question our standing in self and our right standing in Christ. We begin to weigh things in the natural to the spirit.
Paul, with what he was going through came to a point when he finally got concerned enough to start asking the Lord for help. Look at his prayer in verse 8,
8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
He pleaded with God! Are you pleading with God over something in your life? “Lord help me. Get this stuff off my back. Help me with my problems. Help me with my finances. Help my children. Help Lord, help.
Have you been crying help lately? Do you need help with your finances? Do you need help in your family? Do you need help in your marriage? Go ahead, you can be honest. Do you need help with your children? How about your emotions? Maybe depression is trying to come against you and all the other things that come with it. Is that you?
Bill Johnson recently spoke in a conference I attended and he said, “It is time to get emotionally healthy. It is time for the people of God to get healthy. Physically and emotionally.”
What did God say to Paul about what he was going through? It is the same thing that He is saying to YOU and to ME about what we are going through.
9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
My GRACE is sufficient! My unmerited grace, my unearned favor is all you need! My STRENGTH is all you need!
Have you felt weak lately? I would have to raise both of my hands to answer that one! Admitting weakness is not a shame, it is a reality. I am weak if I try to see my body healed in my natural power. I am weak trying to get my finances in order. I am weak trying to guide and direct my family many times.
What about you? Have you been weak?
Paul said, “My strength is made perfect in weakness!” He went on to say,
…Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Paul said he would rather boast in his infirmities. That word infirmities is probably not a good word to use because we immediately think infirmity is sickness. The best way to simplify the definition of infirmity is an “inability to produce results”. I do not know about you, but I will boast in that. I will boast in my inability to get results. I will boast in my weakness. I will boast in the fact that the weight of life comes on me and at times it buckles my knees. BUT… bless God I am still standing because HIS GRACE, His mercy, His strength is made manifest in my weakness when I yield to Him!
So I boast in my inability to get results because without the power of Christ it is all vanity.
Let’s look at verse 10:
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities…
He takes pleasure in his inability to get results… in his ability to know everything.
God has specifically spoken to us as a church to get comfortable not understanding. People have asked me, “What’s going on?” My response has been, “I don’t know, but we are walking by faith.” They ask, “Pastor, what are we doing?” My response, “I don’t know but we are walking by faith.”
Listen, I don’t have to know everything. As a matter of fact, a better place to be is a place of absolute faith. A place where you do not know what to do and you have to totally trust.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Can you find yourself in this list? Are you in need?
in persecutions, in distresses,
Did you catch that? Paul actually said he can take PLEASURE in these things. That is almost too hard to wrap your head around until you begin to understand why Paul can do that. It is simple, he KNOWS it is temporary. He knows what he is going through is temporary.
You need to remember that as well over your situation. I want you to take a step of faith with me and put some verbal action to it. Proclaim this boldly: “What I’m going through is temporary. It is subject to change. It IS temporary.”
Listen… all temporary means is it is “subject to change”.
WE, you and me, have the ETERNAL Word of God. We have the ETERNAL God. A God who is on our side. He is never against us… and always for us. Even when we are messing up He is still for us! He is trying to reach out and touch you even right now with His love, help and compassion.
One more time, look at what Paul said: “For when I am weak, then I am strong!”
Listen my friend, if you can get this, if you will receive this truth you will begin seeing miracles manifesting in your life. All you have to do is be willing to be honest and admit you are weak. Admitting it does not bring on weakness, it brings what is already there into the light.
Pray this prayer with me with a sincere heart:
“Lord, I am weak. I have an inability, Lord, to get results without You. God, if You don’t come through, there is no hope. However, God You always come through. You said it is impossible to be disappointed when I trust in You. I have faith in You Lord! I confess my weakness. I confess my need. I confess the distress of my heart. I confess Lord… when I am weak THEN I AM STRONG!!!”
Let me know if I can pray for you!
~ Pastor Doug Bird
Senior Pastor, Abundant Life Church