“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10

What did the Apostle Paul mean when he said, ‘for when I am weak, then I am strong’? 

To help us reconcile Christ’s strength found in our weakness, David Chadwick shares a helpful illustration from his years playing basketball at UNC-Chapel Hill.

“When I was playing basketball, I was told by Coach Smith between my junior and senior years that if I really wanted to play a lot my senior year, I needed to get faster, bigger, and stronger. Well the way you do that by getting in the weight room.”

“In the weight room as your physical muscles are in resistance against strong weights, your muscles get stronger over the next 24-48 hours after they’ve been torn down and been made weak. In the physical arena when we are weak with our physical muscles, they then become strong.”

David points out that the same is true for our spiritual muscles.

“When we are in resistance against great strengths, powers, principalities and problems in our lives, as we resist those and we keep pushing forward with our faith, amazingly we become strong in the Lord.”

We all know that the days following an intense workout can be some of the most difficult; we may feel sore, tired, and can’t imagine lifting another weight ever again. David speaks to the importance of perseverance in all aspects of life, but especially in the Christian life.

“In coming and following Jesus, there’s a needed understanding of a great perseverance. We’re going to have to persevered through tough times and difficult challenges. But when we do so, our faith is increased, hope is increased, and in Romans 5:3-5, indeed our love for the Lord increases as the Holy Spirit pours out that love inside of our hearts.”

“I just think people need to be forewarned, because to be forewarned is to be prepared. This Christian life is tough, the benefits are incredible, but it’s difficult and you’ll need perseverance in order to follow Jesus well.”

It’s in our weakest moments that Christ reveals His greatest strength. But we need to persevere and trust that He is working in and through us.


David Chadwick has been the pastor of Forest Hill Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, since 1980. A popular speaker and the author of From Superficial to Significant: What It Means to Become Great in God's Eyes, he has MDiv and DMin degrees from Columbia Theological Seminary.

Christ's strength in our weakness
Also on this edition of Connecting Faith
Matt Keller on The Key to Everything

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