Gratitude Day 5 // Gratitude for our Weaknesses

2 Cor 12: 7-10 Philippians 4:13

You ever heard of the song “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers? Most of us have heard this part of the song: “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away/know when to run.”

I used to think that running away from the things that hurt you was a sign of weakness. However, there is a difference between running away from your problems and avoiding drama in the name of protecting yourself. Running away from your problems usually consists of not acknowledging that there is a problem at all. Self-preservation, on the other hand, means that you recognize that you’re not strong enough to handle the problem on your own and that you need time to rest and regain that strength to fight another day.

It seems almost counter-intuitive to acknowledge and accept our weaknesses. We live in a society that prizes confidence, bravery, people who stand up to those who bully others. It seems even more counter-intuitive to be thankful for our weaknesses. How can the worst parts of ourselves be any good to us in our lives?

Think of the kinds of people Jesus chose to be his apostles. None of them were rich or well-regarded by the community as anything great. They argued a lot, they were dense and hopelessly stupid. One of them denied him. Another one betrayed him. Almost all of them abandoned him when he was arrested and crucified. And even when he rose from the dead, one of them refused to believe his friends until he actually saw Jesus in the flesh.

But look at what became of these apostles after the Holy Spirit came into their lives. The turned from a bunch of argumentative, dense cowards into people who went out into the world spreading the Gospel, making Christians beyond Israel’s borders. They weren’t afraid to be persecuted because they knew that they were doing so with Jesus at their side.

Paul wrote about acknowledging weaknesses in today’s passage and believe me when I say that he had his share of flaws. To start with, he was persecuting Christians out of a blind zeal for God. After his conversion, he still had a tendency to cause trouble. However, as he wrote in his second letter to the Corinthians:

“I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

The worst parts of ourselves remind us that we are not perfect. In spite of what society may say, we can’t act like nothing's wrong with us or say that we don’t need God in order to be good. Nor can we define ourselves by our weaknesses. Instead, we turn to Christ.

Philippians 4:13 says

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

When we boast about our weaknesses, we should do so because Christ works through our weaknesses, turning them into strengths. Instead of letting our weaknesses define us, let us offer them to Christ and let Him use our weaknesses to refine us.

So when life hands you a situation that is way beyond what you can handle on your own, don’t be afraid. Back away. Run to Christ. Ask Him to help you to get to the heart of the matter. The problem may not go away overnight. It may take years to overcome whatever weaknesses we have. No matter what, we will rely on Christ to give us the strength we may not have.

Today’s featured song on the Spotify playlist is Laura Story’s “Blessings” I think that this song captures the idea of being grateful for weaknesses because blessings can come in many forms, even the things we don’t feel are blessings. I pray that Christ will help you through whatever weaknesses you have in your life. Be strong, dearest sisters in Christ!

Study Questions

1.Think about a time when you felt like you were at your weakest. How do you think God brought strength to you?

2.What are some areas that you feel need improving in your life? Do you think that God can help you with them?’

3.What do you think is the difference between a coward and someone who knows that retreating might be the best option?