I don’t tend to see myself as a powerful person. I often keep to myself and my circle of influence appears to be small. I do not work outside of the home so my kids are the only ones who watch and learn from what I say and do on a regular basis (not that I am minimizing that – I am only comparing numbers here). I am not powerful in physical strength or in speech. There is simply nothing about me that someone else could see and equate with power. I can think of those who seem to exude power – men and women who possess a strong character, a strong personality and great leadership. Those who contain these qualities in Christ-likeness, I greatly admire.
One thing I have learned though is that you never know what God is doing in someone else through what they see in you. Each of us has been given some measure of power because we are made in the image of God and he is all powerful. We have power to build up and to destroy, to love and to hate, to make better or to make worse. I can think of times when I have incorrectly used the power God has given me and it has hurt others and God has had to deal with me on that. I can think of other times when I had to seek God’s power because mine was so insufficient for what lay ahead and I found His to be just what I needed. Using God’s power doesn’t mean it was easy by any means! It just means I made it and I made it the right way.
Two Sundays ago, Pastor preached from Zechariah where he said, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit says the Lord”. There is a time when our power and might simply cannot accomplish what God has for us to do. This world is dark and hurting. It doesn’t need any more displays of human power. There are already so many of them and they always disappoint. God wants to use us to be a display of His power to those who need to know hope.
Paul said he was not ashamed of the gospel because it was “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). Peter tells us that God’s power has given us “everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3a).
Now even with the hope in that verse, I know I still struggle with my own insecurities and doubts and my own inadequacies.
Thank God Paul also wrote that God told him: His (God’s) power was made perfect in his (Paul’s) weakness. Paul then went on to say “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).
There is hope! Even for those of us who feel weak and powerless. God can use the “weak” so much more than the “strong” if we will let him because that is when His power is at work! And that is what a hurting world needs to see.