My power is made perfect in weakness [2 Cor 12:9]

Blog Bulletin 

Published on: Thursday July 4 2024, 2:43 pm

Life is challenging.

It is challenging personally and on the grand scale of global problems. Who does not feel fearful, weak, and inadequate at times when faced with wars, climate change, serious illness, political upheaval and even difficult elections at home and abroad? What can we do, small as we are, to influence problems that seem insoluble for world leaders or medical experts?

But our recent Bible readings have shown us Jesus’ response to impossible situations in daily life .

We have seen him heal a woman with bleeding for twelve years, who was beyond the help of her doctors, knowing ‘power had gone out from him’ when she touched his clothes; raise the daughter of Jairus back to life from death; and calm a storm that was overwhelming experienced sailors on the lake, with a word of power.

Jesus came to the world fully human, laying aside his equality with God. He worked through the Holy Spirit in him and through faith in God his Father.

This weeks readings show us how we too can do far more than we feel adequate to do if we put aside our efforts to act in our own strength to control situations and instead, turn to God in faith and prayer asking for his help and power.

Ezekiel 2:1-5 tells of a man, called to speak God’s word as a Prophet, to reprove the rebellious nation of Israel. Only when the Holy Spirit came into him was he empowered to even stand before God and listen to his calling, and then obey it.

Psalm 20 tells us to appeal to God for his help and support and assures us he will give it, and to trust in God’s power not earthly might.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9 even St Paul was told that God’s power is made perfect in weakness, and so to depend on God’s grace to manage an affliction he was given to save him from pride, rather than being healed.

In Mark 6:1-13 even Jesus encountered doubt and ridicule being seen as only the carpenter getting above himself, when he taught in his home town. He left, to teach in other places where he found more faith in his name and his words and could do more miracles. He sent his fledgling followers out to do as they had seen him do. Inadequate and fearful as they felt, he told them to depend entirely on God taking no means of support for themselves, and to move on where they were not received.

So we can be sure that we  can also do whatever God calls us to do, if we rely on the power of the Holy Spirit in us. 

We can also see that we are not responsible for the way our words or actions are received, but only for obeying our calling with faith in God’s power working through us. 

Neither need we be deterred by mockery or ridicule, as even Jesus suffered this; and Paul, in Philippians 4:6-7 assures us we can experience peace in the most difficult circumstances if we hand our fears to God who empowers, loves and cares for us always.

Steff Stott

Photo by Rosie Sun on Unsplash