The unusual benefits of weaknesses
3 mins read

The unusual benefits of weaknesses

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Cor 12:9-10

From God’s perspective (and perhaps even from our perspective) there are a number of benefits to having a thorn in the flesh, or any weakness that causes us pain.

First, weaknesses drive us to the feet of Jesus. If it weren’t for my weaknesses, I probably would try to rely on my own wits – on my own strength to get through life. The self-reliant man often sees no need for God, but weakness will cause us to look up to God for strength instead of relying on our own.

Second, a thorn in the flesh, or a weakness will cause us to empathize with the weaknesses of others. There is a place in my heart for people who suffer from pain, but I probably would not have this disposition if I didn’t suffer from my own thorn. I’ve always been drawn to the lowly, to the outcasts of this world, because I know the pain they are experiencing firsthand. The world tells us to seek out and befriend strong, rich, powerful people and to emulate them. However, true strength is found in weaknesses transformed by God. 1 Corinthians 1:27 tells us, “…God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”

Finally, God can use a weak person to reveal his glory. When people see the supernatural strength of a person with weakness they will make no mistake about where this strength came from. People will see God revealed through weakness in a way that your natural strength cannot. When I was attending a Christian university I had a resident assistant in my dorm with a physical disability – a deformity we would call it. This disability was on display for everyone to see, there was no way he could hide it, but I noticed something unusual about this person. He had a peace and a quiet strength that I have not seen in anyone else. The more I got to know him, the more I realized where these qualities came from. They came from a transformed heart as a result of a close relationship with God. His weakness caused him to pursue and depend on God in a way that I’ve never seen before or since.

In God’s economy, weakness is more powerful than natural human strength. He’ll even use your weakness to reveal his glory to the world. It’s useless to run from the pain of our weaknesses. We can dull the pain through drugs or other means, but it won’t get rid of that weakness. Instead, let your weakness be the catalyst that drives you to God. Don’t avoid pain, let God transform it into supernatural strength.