Just as John the Baptist made it clear in John 3:30 of his place in comparison with Christ when he said He must become greater, I must become less, in 2 Corinthians 11:30 Paul says, If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. Our weakness is God’s strength. No matter what area of life we may think we are strong, God is stronger. When we submit to the power that can only come from the Spirit living in us, we finally experience our full potential in service to God.
When we try to battle the world on its terms and on its timing, we lose every time. Paul points out in 2 Corinthians 10:3, For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. Engaging the world in a battle of words or actions, we will ultimately lead to failure every time. We must approach battle in a different way: though prayer and trusting the Lord. We cannot battle on our terms and with our own strength and expect to be victorious. God has the power to win and He deserves all the glory from victory if we just trust in Him.
God’s provision for us is not easily quantified. We see some of His work in our lives, but the full scope of His provision is difficult to fully see. In 2 Corinthians 9:15 Paul says, Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! These are accurate words to describe what God gives to us. We see very little, but He is always with us and He is constantly doing work in us. Thanks be to Him.
Jesus gave up everything so that we could gain it all. In 2 Corinthians 8:9 Paul says, For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. Paul was not talking about monetary riches, but spiritual. He gave up His own access to God and His kingdom to sacrifice for us so that we would know eternity in Heaven with Him. Our debt for sin was paid and for that we must be thankful.
When we work to alight our lives with God’s purpose and will for our lives, it leads us to repentance of sin that separates us from salvation that bridges the gap. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 7:10, Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. When we allow ourselves to live in sin, and do nothing to resolve it, nothing exists but sorrow. Only through a relationship with God and acknowledgement of our sin do we find true salvation and reconciliation. Let us not find comfort in our sin because nothing good can ever come from it, only separation from God and death.
God calls us to love the world and be a reflection of His love, but He does not call us to be a part of the world. In 2 Corinthians 6:15 Paul says, What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? Belial is the name Paul give to Satan. When we are a part of God’s kingdom and have experienced His light, we can not mix with the darkness of this world. This does not mean we cannot bring others to a loving relationship with God, but we no longer have anything in common with a fallen world.
God does not need us, but He chooses to use us in the fulfillment of His perfect plan and to share His love with the world around us. In 2 Corinthians 5:20 Paul says, We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. Just as an ambassador in a foreign land represents the United States and it’s interests, so are we ambassadors of God in this fallen world. Where we belong and who we belong to does not change, but we live here as representatives of Christ.
Paul reminds us today we may feel like we have reached the end of our rope, but we are never done because God is with us always. In 2 Corinthians 4:8 Paul says, We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We may be weak, but God chooses to use us anyway by displaying His power through us if we just believe. God will be glorified as long as we are willing to be used by Him.