2 Cor. 12:9 says, “But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.” HCSB.
To answer this question let me share with you this illustration: There once was a little boy who was verbally attacked by other kids on the playground. Some boys would respond with anger, while others would feel insecure and weak, but not this boy.
This boy was not focused on his weaknesses because he knows his daddy is with him. The problem is, most boys would get even or they would ignore the fact that their daddy is with them. They would try to prove themselves to be better and stronger than those bullies.
But this boy, even though he is weak and experiencing difficulty is also content. He is humble. He knows the power of God. How is that possible? I want to make two points:
First, the boy knows God’s power because he knows he’s a jar of clay.
2 Cor. 4:7-8 says, “Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. We are pressured in every way but not crushed.” HCSB.
The reason God places His beautiful Gospel in broken jars of clay like us is to make it clear that salvation is only from Him, not us! He’s good, we’re not, He’s strong, and we’re not.
We may be broken common clay pots, but we are not without hope. We may be weak, but trials and difficulties won’t destroy us because God’s grace overcomes our sin and weaknesses.
Because we are born with a sinful nature due to the curse, we are all jars of clay. Clay pots are weak and fragile. We have broken God’s law. No one is good, no not one, only Jesus is good! (Psa. 14:3, Rom. 3:10).
The self-righteous don’t accept the idea that they are clay pots, but those who are humble rejoice in their weaknesses because they know that it is only through embracing their broken condition that the power of Christ may rest on them.
Those who are humble also know that they will not always be a jar of clay. One day God will give them glorified bodies in heaven. The Lord has made a way for us to overcome our fallenness through the power of the Gospel!
It’s through Christ that we are loved, accepted, forgiven, saved, sanctified, and set free from sin, death, hell, and the devil!
The boy on the playground is content because he knows that he doesn’t have to keep proving himself to God. He’s an adopted child of God and loved by God!
Second, the boy knows God’s power because he knows his daddy is with him.
If another kid tries to bully you, all you have to do is turn to your daddy and your daddy will take care of you. Your daddy will even give you the strength to respond the way he would respond, with grace, love, patience, kindness, and humility.
Our Father told us to “cast all our care on Him, because He cares about us.” (1 Peter 5:7). We have a daddy we can turn to in times of need and we will receive His sufficient grace! (Heb. 4:16). Even though we are weak jars of clay, we have a Father who stands beside us. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. (Deut. 31:6).
How can the Gospel help, despite our weaknesses?
We need to repent of trying to handle problems in our strength. We need to repent of being self-righteous when we are jars of clay. We need to stop trying to defend ourselves when we have an Advocate who surrendered all His rights and humbled Himself by dying on the cross for guilty sinners like us.
We need to repent of trying to earn our salvation when Jesus paid for our sins through His death and resurrection.
And we need to trust that God is able, through His grace, to meet our needs, forgive our sins, and give us strength in times of weakness. And we need to thank God for His endless supply of grace which is sufficient for any situation we face.
Lastly, we need to remember that even though we are weak jars of clay, as children of God, His Spirit fills these weak vessels. It’s not the outside that matters; it’s what fills the “crack pot” that matters.
So be encouraged. Even though you are a lowly jar of clay that is very weak, that’s the right kind of vessel God is looking for. Your weakness doesn’t disqualify you to be used by God. On the contrary, your weakness is the very thing God uses to display His power, and His power is the message of the Gospel that you share.
God uses weak witnesses to save other weak vessels! God won’t use the proud, nor will He save the proud. He resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. (1 Peter 5:5).
When we rely on our “Daddy,” His power can work in our lives, making us more like Him, and that’s the purpose for our trials and difficulties. We can rejoice that God is with us, He’s in control, and He has provided deliverance and redemption for us, all by His sufficient, amazing grace!