21 June 2011

A Prayer for Boasting in, Not Bemoaning Our Weaknesses

“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. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor. 12:9–10

Heavenly Father, as I meditate on these words of Paul, I vacillate between feelings of anger and relief, for as a young follower of Jesus, I wasn’t taught to delight in weakness but rather to despise weakness, to deny weakness, to demonize weakness, to dethrone weakness. That’s why I totally understand Martin Luther’s statement that “bad theology is the worst taskmaster of all.” For I’ve suffered much under the merciless whip of several gospel distortions.

It was all about “the victorious Christian life”—overcoming and not underachieving; being more than a conqueror and not less than a success; having a type A personality on spiritual steroids, with a faith not only to move mountains but also to control my destiny. I didn’t think in terms of sufficient grace, I wanted replacement grace—getting rid of anything unpleasant in my life.

Thank you, Father, for rescuing me from this and many other misrepresentations of life in Christ. Thank you for the godly men and women you’ve brought into my life over the years—the humble and courageous servants of Jesus who’ve helped me understand the true riches of the gospel and the way of the cross. Increase their tribe, Lord; increase their tribe.

Father, I know we’re not to be defined by our weaknesses and brokenness, but I realize more than ever, that it’s in the place of need and helplessness that Jesus meets us. I have no ability to change my heart, so I very much want the power of Christ to rest on me; no, I very much need for his power to rest on me. I am desperate for all the transforming and sufficient grace you will give me.

And as you continue to humble and gentle my heart, greatly increase my compassion toward others in their weakness and brokenness. Sometimes I want other people to be okay and strong only because of my selfishness. Forgive my irritation, impatience, and avoidance of people whose need is much greater than my supply.

It’s only because Jesus embraced the weakness of the cross that we can freely and gladly boast in the weaknesses of our lives. What a most profound, liberating, and hope-filled paradox. So very amen we pray, in Jesus’ holy and loving name. Amen.

Reposted with permission.
Scotty Smith
Pastor for Preaching
Christ Community Church
1215 Hillsboro Rd.
Franklin, TN 37069

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