How to Start Finding Strength in Weakness

how to find strength in weakness, pictured: young girl laying on a couch with her arm over her eyes

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Did you know having strength in weakness was even possible? Maybe we should start there. Yes, it is possible! In fact, it may be the best kind of way to find true strength. And we’ll get to that. But, why do we feel weak in the first place?

So many of us (myself included) feel weak from time to time. Although I tend to have a pretty strong and independent personality, I can still feel weak. For example, I definitely feel weakness when I don’t measure up to what other expect of me, or what I expect of myself. I feel weak when I fall behind in my work and I don’t feel like I’m getting enough done. My physical body can show signs of weakness as it ages. And I can feel weak because of diabetes for sure. It causes me to fear and worry.

how to find strength in weakness, pictured: young girl laying on a couch with her arm over her eyes

FINDING STRENGTH IN WEAKNESS

Diabetes is so complicated that I can find myself doubting and worrying and feeling weak about so many things.

  • I have to take insulin to survive. My body literally can’t make it on its own, and I see that as a weakness.
  • How much will I need to pay for my medication and supplies? That sometimes causes me to worry.
  • I have no clue about the carb counts in this restaurant, and I will likely guess wrong. Frustration.
  • Am I taking good enough care of myself to avoid complications? Doubt and worry both creep in on that one.

The list could go on and on. What would you add to the list? What causes you to feel weak with doubt and worry?

Feeling WEAKNESS WITH A DIABETES DIAGNOSIS

I can certainly understand feeling a sign of weakness at diagnosis. Of course! With type 2, you are suddenly faced with the need for immediate lifestyle changes, different thinking patterns, new medication, and the idea that a part of your body isn’t functioning properly.

With type 1, you’ve just learned that your once-healthy body is now dealing with a life-long, chronic illness. There is no fix. There’s simply a part of your body that has broken and stopped working. And now you have to step in for it. Every day.

I can’t help but think that things are so much simpler when our bodies work the way God intended when He created them.

How to Find Strength in Weakness. Pcitured: Tired Young Woman Leaning Head on Hands

WEAKNESS WITH DIABETES BURNOUT

In the case that these feelings of weakness and worry and fear about diabetes continues, it may also result in diabetes burnout. It comes on gradually and over time, but it can happen to any of us. The CDC says most people with diabetes will face it at one time or another. (More about this in “3 Ways to Prevent Diabetes Burnout.”)

What’s important in the case that you’re facing diabetes burnout is that you take action when you realize it. Reach out to your healthcare team, talk to those who understand, and take steps in the right direction. (The goal isn’t perfect — it’s better.)

And, as if we weren’t feeling weak before, diabetes burnout makes it exponentially worse.

Can you relate? Has diabetes ever made you feel weak? Have other things in life given you a feeling of weakness?

What is the Root of our Weakness?

First of all, let’s realize that most of the times we feel weak, we feel that way because we are not in control. As hard as it is for this type A, strong-willed personality to admit it, I have to. It’s true. That’s the first step for me — realizing and admitting that I can’t control everything.

Take a look back at what I mentioned above. And think about the things that make you feel weak or fear or doubt. The root of the issue is a lack of control. (You certainly wouldn’t feel weak and doubtful and worried if you could just control what’s making you feel that way. Right?)

How to Find Strength in Weakenss. Pictured: Depressed sad middle aged woman sitting on sofa at home.

How Can We Find Strength in Weakness?

We are fundamentally weak creatures because of the fall (Genesis 3) and the sin in our lives. We live in our human mind and body, being limited by both. But there is hope in the power of Christ. Because sometimes the best way to find our greatest strengths is through weakness.

While we may not like our weakness, God uses it. Our weakness is the vehicle for God’s work in our lives. It allows us to experience Christ’s power. And He can use it to teach us things we would not have otherwise learned.

Our weakness teaches us to rely on God. Consider this: if we were not weak creatures, but were completely and totally self-sufficient, why would we need God? And wouldn’t that make us God? So God Himself wouldn’t be much of a God at all if we could all do what He does. Do you see where I’m going?

And so, we need our weakness. Our humanity. Our humility. Because of our constant and never-ending need a perfect and Holy God.

We need our weakness. Our humanity. Our humility. Because of our constant and never-ending need a perfect and Holy God.

Biblical Examples of God’s Strength in Weakness

In the book I’m currently reading (“Instruments in the Hands of the Redeemer” by Paul David Tripp), there’s a brilliant list of the different displays of the power of God through the weakness of His people. In chapter 2, Tripp writes:

What mission board, what ministry, what local church would use the people God used in Scripture? There was Moses (an exiled murderer), Gideon (fearful and hiding), David (the shepherd boy with no military training), Peter (who publicly denied Christ), and Paul (persecutor of the church), to name a few. Along with these are untold numbers of little people God used in big ways to fulfill his plan on earth.

Instruments in the Hands of the Redeemer” by Paul David Tripp, page 18

He’s right. When we think of church leaders, it’s not people with these qualities. But when we think of these Biblical giants, we most often think of their accomplishments.

Moses led the people out of Egypt through God parting the Red Sea. And we know Gideon as the one who saved Israel from the Midianites. King David is someone we remember as the courageous boy who defeated Goliath with a sling and a stone. Also, Peter was one of Jesus’ closest companions who became one of the most influential Christians after the resurrection. Finally, Paul is the one who penned much of the New Testament we read today.

A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF STRENGTH IN WEAKNESS

I really like the example of Gideon on this topic of weakness. (His story is found in the book of Judges, chapters 6-8.)

First of all, when we initially meet Gideon in Judges 6:11, he is hiding in a winepress to avoid the Midianites, a great enemy of Israel. (Not exactly the picture of great human strength, huh?) If you take a minute to read the account of Gideon, you will see several instances of his doubt and fear that he is able to work through because of God’s power.

#1. Doubt in His Background

First, when Gideon didn’t believe that he would be the one to lead the charge that defeated the Midianites, he asked God how. He claimed he was the weakest in his family, and his family was the weakest of the tribes. Gideon couldn’t see beyond his own limited strength and personal weakness. He also knew He couldn’t do this in his own power. He was focused on the barriers in his own way, not the ways of God and how He could work through him to do great things. (Judges 6:14-16)

Gideon was focused on the barriers in his own way, not the possibilities of how God could work through him to do great things.

#2. disbelief In God

Second, Gideon doubted it was actually God talking to him through this angel. He basically needed to see a miracle, which God provided, to believe it. (Judges 6:17-22)

#3. Fear of Others

When Gideon was instructed to tear down the alter of Baal, he decided to do so at night so he wouldn’t be seen. He was afraid of what others may think of him, and what might happen to him as a result. (Judges 6:25-32)

#4. Doubt in God (Again)

Finally, when it was time to defeat the Midianites, Gideon doubted God again. Twice this time he asked for a miracle to prove that God would in fact save Israel through him as He had said. Again, God obliged. Both times. And the patience of God amazes me again. (Judges 6:36-40)

God Saves Israel through Gideon

When the day came to defeat the enemy, Gideon and 32,000 men were prepared for battle. But God decided the army was much too large, so Gideon was left with 10,000. Again, God decided there were too many, so Gideon was left with 300. That’s less than 1% of what he started with!

But God knew that what was about to happen was impossible in human eyes. They would have no choice but to see God’s hand at work with just 300 people defeating their enemy. And that very thing happened.

Although Gideon is ultimately seen as a great judge who helped to free God’s people from their enemies (there was peace for Israel for 40 years until the end of his life), Gideon was just like all of us at first. Filled with fear, doubt, worry, and weakness. But God worked His great power through Gideon to accomplish His will.

If God can use the weaknesses of Gideon to free people from their enemies, what can He do through you?

Our Weaknesses make us Mighty Warriors

When the angel first appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” Read that again. The angel who found Gideon hiding from his enemies called him a mighty warrior. Why? Because that’s how God sees us.

By God’s grace, He sees past our current circumstance to how He created us and how He sees us at our best. God sees you that way, too. He sees past the situation you are in, the trouble you face, and the weakness you have. God remembers you the way He created you. He sees your suffering, and He still calls you warrior — because He knows what a good thing He is capable of doing through you.

He sees your suffering, and He still calls you warrior — because He knows what He is capable of doing through you.

Remember what the writer of Hebrews reminds us about human suffering:

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.

Hebrews 4:15

Jesus understands firsthand. He lived as a human and had His own experiences with the same emotions and struggles we do.

How to Start Finding Strength in Weakness

Everything we face can draw us closer to God if we look to Him in it all. He is the answer to how we find strength in weakness. He is the source of all that sustains us.

Consider the wise words of Paul in one of his letters to the Corinthians:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 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 12:9-10

How are you drawing closer to God in what you face? Is your Christian community help you lean into the Lord in your personal life? How can you consider God’s glory as you walk through times of weakness?

A Free Reading Plan on Finding The Strength of God in Our Weakness

One of the main ways I draw close to God is through His word. And it is my deepest hope that anything I post here will encourage you to abide in the Lord’s presence.

I love to read scripture that reinforces things I need to remember and opens the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to nudge me and encourage me. So I have compiled a 14-day Bible reading plan called “Finding Strength in Weakness” to share with you.

In this two-week plan, we will read encouraging Psalms, the words of the prophet Isaiah, perspective from James, and wisdom from the Apostle Paul. Will you join me in reading? Your free instant download printable is below.

A Prayer As You Begin

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:16

Do You Relate?

Have you felt weak? Do you relate to Gideon and the others warriors of the faith who have various weaknesses? Leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

If you want more devotions and Bible reading plans, please join my VIP list for new material each week. And follow along on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for the latest updates.

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how to find strength in weakness, pictured: young girl laying on a couch with her arm over her eyes

MORE BIBLE READING PLANS

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Kaycee - Devotions on Diabetes

HEY - I'M KAYCEE!

Welcome to my Devotions on Diabetes website! Thanks for stopping by. I've lived with diabetes for 30+ years. And I'm here to provide you with a heaping helping of encouragement while you deal with diabetes and navigate this chronic illness with God by your side.

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