From the Pee Dee Baptist Association—Featured this week is the late Rev. Kenneth Cox who was pastor of Beulah Baptist Church, Hamer at the time of his death. Kenneth was on the original list of newspaper devotion writers, and this is his article published in January 1993. His mother has given permission to reprint Kenneth’s article.
Philosophers often discuss the idea of paradox- that is, two ideas that seem to be totally opposite each other can exist in some kind of mutual relationship.
Paul deals with a paradoxical notion Second Corinthians 12:9 as he relates what God has revealed to him: “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
In God’s way of viewing mankind, weakness and strength- two separate experiences- can be fused together so that strength can be made perfect or complete or mature. Therefore, strength depends on weakness from God’s perspective.
He can use weakness and turn it into strength.
Basically, people are weak in one area of life or another. There are those who are weak physically: they live with some chronic ailment or lingering, life-draining disease for which there is no medical cure.
These folk may have some type of physical handicap that creates a feeling of fear being ridiculed by the public. Also, many people are weak emotionally: they have lost a loved one in death and the emptiness in the home and in the heart seems to be unbearable.
Some folk have been involved in courtship or even in marriages that no longer bring joy or fulfillment.
Some are just depressed: life appears to have no meaning at all. Moreover, some people are weak educationally: they had to stop going to school at an early age to take care of a sick parent or to fill in the gap as leader of a family because a family member who worked has died. Some just got bored with school or became romantically involved with someone and let education go flying out the window.
These people feel ill at east with those who were fortunate enough to complete a formal education.
Additionally, many people are weak materially or financially: they know that no matter how hard they work, they will never get promoted or they will never experience a debt-free life. Such thoughts hound them constantly and they wonder why they should even bother going to work that week. How, then, can one see strength in weakness?
First, one should RECOGNIZE THE POWER OF GOD. God is all-powerful. The difficulties of last week are not as pressing as are the problems of this week. Why? The God who created time did so in order for us to move on and not stay settled into one spot. God’s power is present when weakness is present. One must LOOK for Him.
Secondly, one should REMEMBER THAT GOD CAN USE WEAKNESS TO REVEAL AREAS THAT NEED ATTENTION IN ONE’S LIFE. Pride is one of the most prevailing sins of people.
God may use physical, emotional, educational, or material weakness to occur in order to get people to focus on God and not on themselves.
One should focus on God’s promises in the Bible, not on mere feelings.
It is true- strength can be made perfect in weakness.