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#792 – Strength in Weakness (2 Corinthians 10:10)

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“For they say his letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak and his speech of no account.”
(2 Corinthians 10:10)

When I read this verse, I am so struck by what I think about Paul the apostle, and what people in Corinth said about Paul the apostle. Like this is their description of him. “For they say his letters are weighty and strong but, his bodily presence is weak and his speech of no account.” Like I think of Paul, like the greatest missionary, to my knowledge ever lived proclaiming the gospel writing so much of the New Testament, I think of him as a pretty stout dude. And pretty strong in all kinds of ways like traveling and all these kinds of places. And I picture him as somebody who could preach, like preach pretty well. But people in 2 Corinthians 10:10 are saying, his letters are weighting and strong, but his bodily presence is weak.

Do you ever feel like you cannot do what God has called you to do? You are weak, but Christ is strong. You can trust in Him.

So apparently they didn’t think he was this stout guy, and his speech of no account. Like basically they said, “Dude, can’t preach.” And yet Paul was mighty with the gospel. So get the picture here, Paul apparently was not a big stout guy and this incredible preacher. But he was used mightily by God. Why? Because where we are weak, Jesus is strong. That’s the whole picture. When I read this in 2 Corinthians 10, I just think, praise God, you used a weak man whose speech was of no account, as one of the greatest missionaries who’s ever lived. And that’s not the first time God has done this.

Like you think about Moses. Moses says to God, “Don’t send me, I can’t speak.” And God says, “I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” God would be strength in Moses’ weakness. So with Moses, so with Paul and so with you. Do you ever feel like you can’t do what God is calling you to do? I’m not even talking about like big world changing missions adventures like Paul, I’m talking about being a parent, or a student, or a single, or a husband, or a wife. Just that station God’s called you to in life. Or do you ever feel like you can’t be the follower of Christ that you want to be? Like sharing the gospel, you ever feel just, I can’t do it. I feel so weak. I feel so timid with my faith.

Like there are so many ways where we might be prone to think, I can’t do this. Where we might be prone to think we are weak. And if so, I want to encourage you, that’s actually right and good to realize that you are weak but, Jesus is strong. And you don’t have the wisdom to parent those teenagers or kids. Like I think about Heather, my wife and I just laying there in bed last night crying out for help in parenting. Like we felt really weak, and yet we’re crying out because we know Jesus is strong. And I want you to know that today based on 2 Corinthians 10:10, you are weak in so many different ways, but Jesus in you is strong and you can trust in Him.

In every situation you find yourself in, in every station you find yourself in, in life and everything God has called you to do, trust that when you are weak, He is strong. God, we praise you for this truth, for this reality that we see all over your word. And God, I just confessed, I’m prone to miss this, I’m prone to think Moses had it all figured out, and Paul had it all figured out, but I’m reminded over and over again, that’s not the case, you have chosen to use weak men and women to show your strength, to display your greatest glory in the history of the world through weak men and women. So God, I lay myself down before you, and along with other brothers and sisters right now, we’re come before you saying, we are weak, we can’t do it. We can’t do what you’ve called us to do.

We can’t live out this Christian life you’ve called us to live out. We can’t be all that you’ve called us to be, and yet we praise you that you’ve not called us to do, or be any of these things on our own. We praise you for your promise to be strength in our weakness. So we are confessing our weakness right now before you, and we are trusting in your strength. God I pray that you’d give strength to every person listening to this, in my own life, to be who you’ve called us to be, to do all that you’ve called us to do, and we pray that you would show your power in our weakness today, in every way. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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