Matters of Faith: Strength in Weakness

By Rev. J. Loren Russell

2 Corinthians 12:1-10 (vv. 6-10) NKJV ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me. And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” ‭‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Rev. J. Loren Russell

Bragging rights are what we think we have when we have done something that others find difficult or impossible to do. We also think we have bragging rights when we have power or privilege, wisdom, or wealth. When we think we have bragging rights, we parade it around with pomp and circumstance.

However, none of these things we possess, nothing we have earned, not even the gifts we have been given is a reason to brag or boast. Paul says that it is his weakness that gives him bragging rights.

Paul talked about his bragging rights that resulted from the supernatural experience he had in the Lord. He said that he heard “things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell” (v. 4 NLT). This experience was so astonishing that it would have been easy to brag, to boast and to shout about it, but Paul chose instead to brag about his weaknesses. He chose to boast about the “thorn in the flesh” that afflicted him. This affliction, which was not identified, was so intense that three times he asked the Lord to remove it, and three times the Lord said No! “My grace is sufficient for you.” When you cannot depend on your own strength and power, the Lord’s strength supports you.

What the world witnessed on January 6, 2021, on the streets of Washington, DC will ever be etched in our minds as the most anarchistic event in American history. It revealed the nation’s weakness that we are not a united state of Americans, challenged to be one nation under God, to be indivisible, and give liberty to all. January 6, revealed the sin sickness of our nation.

What we saw was a display of privilege in action; boasting and bragging about perceived rights that authorized them to desecrate the sanctum of this great republic. We saw weaknesses masquerading as strengths — a mob trying to overturn the legitimate results of the presidential election.

While the mob was trying to stop the legal process and create chaos, an historic election had taken place in Georgia the day before. One of the losing senators Kelly Loeffler had committed to signing the petition to reject the Electoral College votes for Biden-Harris from her state. However, the aftermath of the invasion of the Capitol Building resulted in her withdrawing her support of that petition.

The chaos of the mob revealed the weakness of our divided nation. Some may challenge me on this conclusion, but I believe it was this same weakness that gave Sen. Loeffler (R-GA) the strength to change her mind and accept the decision of the Georgia voters and electors. There is strength in weakness.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; and creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen on Matters of Faith on Facebook LIVE.

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