God’s Glory in Your Weakness (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 – For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

In what do you boast? Of what are you proud? This section of God’s word tells us something about who we are before God and what we bring to him. How strong are you? How wise are you? How skilled are you? In reality, none of us is likely to be the top of our class in any of these fields. Regardless of how smart you are, there is someone out there smarter. Regardless of how strong you are, there is someone out there stronger. Regardless of how skilled you are, there is always someone out there more skilled.

Is it not fascinating that, when God chose us, he chose people who are not the absolute cream of the crop? God did not look down through history and select the strongest and brightest to be his children. No, he chose, as Paul says, the weak and the despised of the world to be his. In that choice, God brings shame on the supposedly wise and strong of our world. He takes little, weak, average people, and he uses them to accomplish his will. Why? He does this in order that none of us who are ever used of God may boast that we brought something to the table. Sure, we may have some natural talents or abilities, but who gave us those? We have nothing good that God did not give us. Thus, all the glory for all good things that God accomplishes through us is his and his alone.

What about the way that you are made troubles you? Where do you feel deficient? Are you too slow, too weak, too poor, too sickly? Do you have a disability? Do you wish you were smarter, more attractive, or simply better with people? Know that God can and will still use you. If you are his child in Christ, God takes you, the weakest of the weak, and then brings honor to his name in how he chooses to use you. He takes your weakness, and he uses it as a way in which his glory is magnified, showed to be as big as it really is. God accomplishes his will through the weak and the imperfect, not through the exclusively beautiful and strong. When his will is accomplished by someone who lacks in some area of what the world values, he is shown to be the one who accomplished the feat, and his name is glorified.

So, how then do we respond to our weaknesses and flaws? Well, if they are weaknesses that we can overcome, we strive to overcome them. We do not remain uneducated if the opportunity to be educated comes our way. We do not remain unhealthy if we can exercise and get into shape. But, we do not allow our weaknesses to drag us down. Instead, we recognize that, though we may not be the perfect athlete, body-builder, super-model, rocket-scientist, poet, song writer, brain surgeon, or superhero, we still can be used by God. Our weaknesses do not hinder his accomplishing of his will. Instead, our weaknesses serve to magnify his glory for the times when he does marvelous things through us.

Dear Lord, I thank you that you have chosen the weak and lowly of the world to be yours, because otherwise, I would never have been allowed to be your child. I also thank you that you use those of us who are weak, flawed, and frail to accomplish your will. I have my own weaknesses, and they are sometimes a burden to me. But I know, Lord, that those weaknesses and struggles are ways in which you bring yourself honor when you do good things through me. I know that it glorifies you more to accomplish your will through me because of the fact that I have the weaknesses that I have. Therefore, I will glory in my weakness because of the fact that you are shown strong in it. No, I will not glory in my sin. I will never rejoice in my failures. But I will certainly embrace my physical or other limitations, because they serve as tools to bring glory to your name.