Strength in times of weakness
...even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Most of the time, affirmations and commendations are received based on your success. These may be the results of the use of your abilities and talents. Failures are unwelcomed for they hinder the prospect or possibility of success. It is true that self-confidence is developed when one continues to succeed. But failures are part of living in this world. There are many lessons learned during times of failures. The apostle Paul used to boast about his accomplishments before he surrendered his life to Christ. His source of confidence is his own abilities and by exerting effort in what he does. He even thought of himself better than others because his goal is perfection. “Though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!” (Philippians 3:4). But when he realized that no matter how much he compares his achievements with what others achieved, he still comes out empty and longing for more. Until he stopped comparing himself to others and started looking at Christ that he realized that everything he did was nothing compared to what Christ has done for him at the cross. “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:7-8). It is not your strength or being smart that can make a difference in other people’s lives. It is only by the power of Christ working in you that your life could bring encouragement to others so that the assurance and the hope you have could influence others. Frequently or even daily, you could learn lessons from the errors and failures God allows taking place in your life. It is during these moments that you need to trust God. Just like Paul, during those times of failures and weakness that you learn to admit that you need God’s help. What a comfort to know that you can trust God and find refuge in Him for He alone is your source of strength. When failure comes, ask God for His grace and wisdom so you will learn the opportunity He is opening for you so you could grow in love and dependence upon Him.