Making God Your Strength in Weakness
As followers of Christ, we strive to live in a way that visibly attests to the work of God in our lives. Yet it’s easy to feel timid or reluctant about displaying our faith—especially if we’ve failed before. Abram knew what it was like to fail in trusting God fully. In Genesis 12, he acted out of fear and self-preservation in the face of danger instead of trusting in God’s promise (Gen 12:10–20). Yet God remained faithful to him. In Genesis 14, when Abram learned that his nephew was in danger, he didn’t hesitate to act. Emboldened by God’s promise, Abram confidently set his eyes on the armies of the Mesopotamian kings, and with his band of trained men, he took down an army of giants.
Our past failures or lapses of faith do not prevent God from using us to accomplish great things, whether in witnessing to His work in our lives or defeating armies of giants (see Psa 118:6; Rom 8:31). Abram’s life shows us that God can and will use us despite our weaknesses and failures (see 1 Cor 1:26–31). This encourages us, like the Apostle Paul, to recognize that God’s grace is sufficient and that His power is made evident through our weakness (2 Cor 12:9).
In Colossians 3:17, Paul wrote, “whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus” (ESV). Paul recognized that when we live out our faith, others notice—and they benefit from our efforts. This was true in Abram’s life: The Canaanite priest-king Melchizedek recognized Abram’s courage and, more importantly, God’s hand in Abram’s victory. Our faith should not only affect us, it should affect those around us as we respond to God’s call to live as disciples of Christ (see Col 3:12–15).
1. Read 1 Corinthians 1:26–31 and 2 Cor 12:9–10. How does Paul describe our weakness compared to God’s strength? How does this encourage you to rely on the Lord?
2. How can you show God’s love to others by living faithfully? How does putting to death “what is
earthly” and putting on a new being affect how you relate to others (see Col 3:5–17)?