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Give Your Weakness to God

God Uses Weak People for His Best Work

Paul calls the Corinthians to remember that they were not the cultural elite, the politically powerful or the materially rich, but rather the foolish, weak, low and despised (1 Corinthians 1:26–31). God alone is to get the glory.

God doesn’t need the powerful, influential or the cultural movers and shakers to accomplish his work. God actually goes out of his way to give disproportionate impact to the weak, humble and foolish so that Christ receives all the glory. God intentionally uses weak people to do his best work. When we recognize that we are weak people, we can stop trying to keep up a façade and instead look to the sufficiency and goodness of our God that brings redemption, healing and comfort to our struggles.

Bringing Redemption to Our Vulnerability

Recently, a friend shared that their small group—in one year—had walked through the death of a parent, a felony crime, drug-related charges, psychological issues, same-sex attraction, marital discord, job transition and disability. Yet they weren’t stalled on any one of those issues. They prayed, studied God’s word, supported each other and reminded one another of who God is and what he has done. They didn’t become a self-help group. They didn’t just listen and lament. They listened, and then they looked to God together. They let the truths and promises of Scripture fill their hearts and minds as they walked through those challenging situations and circumstances.

To bring redemption to our vulnerability means we open up not to wallow in our situation, but to lift our eyes together to God in hope. We can look together at his promises. We cry out together for comfort, wisdom, help and faith. We listen to one another, and to labor together in prayer because sometimes we’re too feeble to pray alone. Weakness and vulnerability remind us that we are dependent and God is sufficient. God loves to meet us in our moments of need and to give us more of his grace as we seek it moment by moment, especially with others.

No Quick Fixes

How this plays out in our individual communities and relationships will require wisdom. It’s not simple or clear-cut. We walk with each other through hard things that may not have tidy conclusions or ever end this side of heaven. We don’t apply the gospel like someone putting a Band-Aid on cancer. Instead, we let the truth of the gospel and the power of the indwelling Spirit fill our bodies like chemotherapy drugs that enter into our spiritual bloodstream. There are rarely quick fixes or simple solutions for life’s problems, but we can look to a powerful, merciful, loving and sufficient Father who has loved us thoroughly through his Son at Calvary.

Redemptive vulnerability does not put a spotlight on vulnerability, brokenness or sin. Redemptive vulnerability highlights and magnifies how good, sufficient, kind, persistent and gracious God is. It’s his grace that makes us aware of our need for him. It’s his grace that causes us to cry out in dependence, to turn away from sin and to remind us of his love.

We can embrace our varied weaknesses in order that God’s power might be displayed. It’s the reminder we all need daily. God is sufficient. God is good. God loves you. And Jesus Christ will never leave you nor forsake you. No matter how weak or vulnerable we may be, we can look to Christ, whose grace is sufficient for us and made perfect in our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:9).  

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Steven Lee (@5tevenLee) is the pastor of small groups and community outreach at College Church in Wheaton, IL. He earned his M.Div. from Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, MN.