Paul is painfully patient with the Corinthians, steadfastly waiting for them to come around. He has written letters, made visits, sent messengers, performed signs and wonders, defended his cause, and poured out his heart. But still, the Corinthians hadn’t turned from their S.I.N. The most destructive three-letter word around. Read 2 Cor. 13:1-4.
When we are in the clutches of sin, sometimes we dig in our heels. We don’t want to change. We defend ourselves. We put up a fight. Sin can become a comfortable companion…and we may not know how we will manage without it by our side. If materialism wants to go shopping, will we be able to say no? If gossip is the talk of the town, will we be excluded from Girl’s Night Out? If anxiety invades our thoughts, will we let her run wild? If jealousy wants to have lunch, will we turn her down?
The longer we allow sin to have a hey day in our lives, the more difficult it becomes to walk away. However, we have been given great power in our weakness. When we surrender our lives to God, we allow access to the divine power of God to assist us in conquering sin. (Additional Resource: How Can I Overcome Sin?)
Our perfect Savior, Jesus Christ was “crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God” (v. 3). The resurrection of Jesus is proof that God is real. The church at Corinth continued to look for flashy signs to prove Paul’s apostleship. They wanted more proof. More proof than a man being raised from the dead!
I wonder how many of us are guilty of this same thing? We want more proof that God is real. We’re looking for proof in blessings and materialism. Proof in large ministries and twitter followers. Proof in a life of comfort and ease. What does proof look like today?
Is the proof of Jesus’ hand on our lives found only in big money, big deals, flashes of fame, and our biggest dreams coming true? Or is the proof of His power also found in us when we are given grace to love the unlovely, adopt a child when we’re scared to death, forgive when it flies in the face of our gut reaction, and hear His Holy Spirit whisper tender words of affirmation to our broken hearts? — Kelly Minter, All Things New (p. 199)
But once again, God’s ways are so different than man’s. God says “when you are weak, I am strong.” Paul is advocating for us to trust God in the midst of our greatest weakness. For us to believe that indeed…God can. He can use messy, broken, wayward stories to give glory to Himself. Others can see God working in us when our world is falling apart. And that’s not to say God doesn’t give good things like prosperity, wealth, and success…most certainly, He does. But that’s not what it is all about! That’s not our sole purpose! The proof of our Christianity is shouting Him on the rooftops in the midst of the ups and the downs. The proof is in the relationship that lasts through the storms and sunsets.
Some of the people who had the deepest impact in my life were the ones who weathered a severe storm and remained steadfast in their faith through it all. God can speak from the mountaintop. But let’s not forget, He speaks in the valley too.
How do you perceive God’s blessing?