The Weakest is the Strongest

The Weakest is the Strongest

By Jaymark Molo

Illustration: Once a little girl found a cocoon hanging from a limb in the forest.  She took it to her room and placed it in a jar, expecting one day to see a butterfly emerge.  One day, she saw the butterfly within the cocoon trying get out.  It was struggling and trying to push its way out of the tight opening.  In an effort to help the poor insect, she very carefully slit open the cocoon.  After that, the butterfly was able to easily exit the cocoon. But, a strange thing happened.  Instead of spreading two beautiful wings, the butterfly had two withered, shriveled, useless, ugly wings hanging by its side.  Why?  God designed the butterfly and his cocoon so that the tight opening would straighten and strengthen his wings.  Without the pressure of the tight opening, the butterfly was robbed of the beauty of his wings, and more importantly, he was robbed of the ability to fly into the heavens.  He was condemned to a life of walking around on the ground!

Now, we are not butterflies, but we need the pressures and trials of life, if we are to develop into all that God has saved us to be. However, like Paul…

Key Texts: 2 Cor. 12:1-10

FCF: We are tempted to pray that the Lord might take away trials from us (v. 8).

Proposition: Since the grace of Christ is made glorified in our weaknesses, we should boast all more gladly in our weaknesses.

I. Since the grace of Christ is made sufficient in our weaknesses, we should boast all more gladly in our weaknesses (v. 9a).

A. It is sufficient because Paul realized that Christ is all He needs. We can’t be filled with the power of God until we first empty ourselves of the pretense that we can get by on our own. Admit that you are weak and His grace is sufficient!

A.1. Paradoxical as it may appear, most of the happiest people (like Paul) are those who have been afflicted and found grace sufficient in their wounds.

A.2. Contrary to what might be expected, I look back on experiences that at the time seemed especially desolating and painful with particular satisfaction. Indeed, I can say with complete truthfulness that everything I have learned in my 75 years in this world, everything that has truly enhanced and enlightened my experience, has been through affliction and not through happiness. – Malcolm Muggeridge, in Homemade, July, 1990.

II. Since the grace of Christ is made strongest in our weaknesses, we should boast all more gladly in our weaknesses (v. 9b).

A. When our weakness reached its true goal (“teleioo”);[1] God’s grace seen as the strongest means of overcoming it.

A.1. Pliny, vii. Epis. 26, says, “We are best where we are weak.”

A.2. Seneca says, “Calamity is the occasion of virtue.”

A.3. Minutius Felix, “Calamity is often the discipline of virtue.”

B. Therefore, All problems will (should) teach us how to pray, how to read our Bible, how to meditate and so on.

III. Since the grace of Christ is made to stay in our weaknesses, we should boast all more gladly in our weaknesses (v. 9c).

A. In the midst of weaknesses. In the midst of mistreatment. In the midst of hardship. In the midst of persecution. In the midst of difficulties. (v. 10ab)

A. 1. Someone asked C.S. Lewis, “Why do the righteous suffer?” “Why not?” he replied. “They’re the only ones who can take it.”

Conclusion: Therefore, “For when I am weak, I am strong.” (v. 10c)

[1] Can be translated as: to perfect, to complete, finish; to reach a goal; to be fulfilled, to made perfect.

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