Weakness is the Way

By Pastor Mark Tanious

Our fighter verse this week is quite precious to me personally as it is my life verse. When God called me to give up my dream of being a medical doctor in order to become a pastor, I felt totally inadequate. Just the idea of speaking in front of people regularly horrified me. Let alone the struggle and burden that would accompany the work of shepherding souls. I wasn’t really up for the task. Or to put it more honestly, I ran from the task.

That was until I began to understand the meaning of this verse.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

I was taught all my life to do my very best. Work hard, study, practice, get stronger. Those were very important lessons growing up and served me well in many ways. But, when it came to my relationship with God, I needed a renewing of my mind. God called me into something that I could not do in my own power. It was literally impossible. And that’s when I began to understand the power of grace.

When God says my grace is sufficient for you, he means his rescuing, sustaining, sanctifying grace is fully available to us. There is no limit to it. And the beauty of that grace is that it works best in our weakness. Or I should say, it works best when we realize just how weak we really are. It is only when I am humble enough to acknowledge the depth of my weakness that I am ready to receive God’s grace. This is the upside-down nature of the gospel. We gain by losing, we are strong when we are weak.

In my call to ministry, I was confronted with the depth of my weakness and I had no choice but to cast myself entirely on the grace of God. It was the scariest thing I have ever had to do. And I still have to do it every day. But I can say that there is a power that is truly made perfect in weakness. It is a supernatural power. I can’t explain it or rationalize it. But, it’s real.

Your experience of this verse likely has nothing to do with a call to vocational ministry. But, as you approach God, are you keenly aware of your weakness and inadequacy? Are there relationships that you want to deepen but feel is impossible? Is the calling of being a parent to your children overwhelming? Are the demands and pressures of your job slowly tearing you down? Do you ever wonder why school has to feel so hard?

Maybe we all need a mind renewal. Maybe weakness is the way. I can’t stand feeling weak and vulnerable. But, that’s exactly the way of Jesus. Jesus became poor and weak. He emptied himself of glory and became a slave. He experienced the shame and agony of crucifixion. How? How could he do this? Because he was convinced that weakness is the way. That the grace of his Father would sustain him and empower him to do what he was called to do. This is not only the way of Jesus, this is what it looks like to follow Jesus. He said that if we would come after him, we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him (Mark 8:34).

Do you want to experience the power of Christ in your life? Then let’s choose the path of weakness. Let’s choose to humble ourselves, admit our faults, and confess our doubts. And let’s cry out for the only thing that can sustain us, transform us, and empower us in the midst of these struggles—the grace of God.

Weakness is the way.