His Power is Made Perfect in Weakness

“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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV).

I’ve been thinking a lot about imperfection lately. I always do when we’re trying to finish up a book and get it out the door to the printer. For the past several months, I’ve been working on revising For Instruction in Righteousness. We got the revision back from the proofreader a couple weeks ago, full of red marks and suggestions.

Editing pagesIt took several hours to go through the proof copy, making changes in the document and checking off each correction. When that was finally done, I went back through the document several more times, watching for specific things — little inconsistencies, misplaced commas, misspelled words, wrong font sizes, incorrect Bible references, funny spacing issues. How many times can we comb through a manuscript and still find mistakes?

My last pass uncovered over two dozen little things that all our other readings had missed! Then Daniel took the document to do the things he has to do to send it off to the printer. He still found a couple more mistakes. It’s always a little scary when we finally say, “OK, we’re done. We’re sending this off.” How do we know if we found all the mistakes?

A month or so from now, the delivery truck will back up to the garage door and we will bring in a box of the new books, fresh from the printers (they always smell so good!). We’ll take out the first book to send to Becky, who won the Doorposts giveaway. Then we’ll flip open the next one, and because it has almost become a tradition, we’ll most likely see on the page another boo-boo we missed!

What a reminder of my fallen state! No matter how hard I try, I will never be perfect. Our books will never be perfect. My family will never be perfect. My home will never be perfect. For now, I and all people and things around me are cursed with the results of Adam’s sin.

But someday God will make me perfect. I can gain comfort and strength from that fact.

In the meantime, He is using the curse of sin to make me more like Jesus. I am tested and refined as I do constant battle with the results of the Fall in my own heart and in the world around me. My sin and failings humble me. I cannot live this life in my own strength, and I surely cannot earn my way into heaven by my own strength. I cannot be a perfect mother, a perfect wife, or a perfect anything else. I have to get up from my latest failure, confess my sin and weakness, cast myself on His mercy, and keep on going in the infinite strength of my Savior.

I won’t do the job perfectly. He knows that. But He has chosen to work through me and through every other hopelessly fallen human being that He has called to follow Him. He has already won this battle. I am just called to be a faithful soldier, following His commands. I should not look at my weakness and give up. He takes my imperfect efforts and works out His will. His power is made perfect in my weakness. That should make me happy. He gets the glory. He is the one who brings any good from my labor, not me.

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  1. Thank you! I needed this reminder today! My imperfections are so glaring sometimes that Jesus knows and He calls me to faithfulness. I will be sharing this post with a couple of friends. Thank you!

  2. This really hit the spot – thanks for these very encouraging words! Constantly needing this reminder…

  3. Thanks fort he reminder of the strength we have in Christ and the eternal purposes that we are to keep going.

  4. Thank you for reminding me that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! I really appreciate your website and blog.

  5. I just had a really rough morning with my eldest son. I totally lost my temper over a really silly thing. I asked his forgiveness along with the rest of my family but I still felt terrible. It’s so easy at that moment of failure to believe the lies of the evil one. Thank you so much for your post. It has put me back on track. Praise be to God for his love endures forever!

  6. Amen! This has been a verse I have been clinging to — I am so grateful that His strength is perfect in my weakness 🙂

  7. Thank you for this post! I really needed this encouragement. I came home late last night from a Bible Study group I leed (which a totally feel so inadequate to leed…) and cried to my husband what a failure I’ve been feeling lately…I’m feeling so defeated…and ready to give up…but yes, that’s exactly what the devil wants. I’m doing God’s will and the devil wants me to quite. I like your reminder that I’m just called to follow God’s commands! Lord Jesus, please continue to leed me and show my path. Give me the strength and encouragement to press on!

  8. Beautiful Sharing Post. I am thankful that you are not waiting for perfection before serving the Lord with your words. Thank you for the encouragement to do our best – and let the Lord be Lord. 🙂

  9. I want to teach them that the affects of their choices today(before marriage) do not go away once you are married. We are in constant need of God’s grace to keep us from sin and momentary “pleasure”; but oh the blessings we can have in following Him!

  10. Thank you – so true and I need to be reminded and take comfort in His sovereinty.

  11. Kimberly Williams

    It’s amazing how God works. This is the scripture that I am trying to memorize this week! It is nice to read why this verse is important and be reminded that even in our weaknes we are strong because of CHRIST~ that it has nothing to do with us~ because we will never be made perfect until we are with Him.

  12. oops…commented on wrong post earlier!:)

  13. Pam, well said! :o) It is so true that we can never be perfect bacause of the sin that started with Adam and Eve in the garden. Thank you for this beautiful reminder that we are refined through Him each and every day! God bless you!!!

  14. “In the meantime, He is using the curse of sin to make me more like Jesus. I am tested and refined as I do constant battle with the results of the Fall in my own heart and in the world around me. My sin and failings humble me. I cannot live this life in my own strength, and I surely cannot earn my way into heaven by my own strength.”

    I’ve been wrestling with some issues over the past several? many? months and at one point asked “why does it have to be such a battle?” and came to the conclusion that there’s benefit in the process of the battle. It drives us to Christ and strengthens us as we P.U.S.H. against the rock only He can move.

  15. Melanie from Australia

    Wow, how encouraging! I have felt very challenged about these particular things of late. I am very pregnant at the moment, and for me that seems to heighten all those issues that seem to be that bit harder & seem that much bigger, when I am so close to having another baby!
    Like Mary, I will hold these wise words in my heart & try to draw from them throughout my day with my family & ask Jesus to help me to do those things. Thank you.

  16. Pam, I love, love your posts. Keep ’em coming! I wish we went to the same church. I would be asking you questions and for advice all the time 🙂

  17. Thank you for sharing your heart and struggles! Sometimes we think we struggle all alone butitis not true! I want teach my children commitment that doessn’t give up!

  18. “His power is made perfect in my weakness. That should make me happy. He gets the glory. He is the one who brings any good from my labor, not me.” AMEN!

  19. Thank you for this post! I love being reminded of who I am in Christ.

  20. Good reminder. Thank you!

  21. Pam,
    Do you think you will have the newest edition of the book ready by the CHEA conference on April 7,8,9?

  22. I’m afraid not. That’s only 2 weeks away. We were trying to have it done in time for the earlier shows, but grandbabies and kitchen remodels and Christmas, etc., etc., slowed things down a bit.
    But I imagine we’ll be taking pre-orders at the show, and shipping those pre-orders free when they come in.

  23. Y’all are a great encouragement 🙂

  24. Thank you so much!!!

  25. I haven’t had time…or maybe I should say “taken the time” to read your blog this past week. One day, this post sat on my computer screen all day and I STILL couldn’t get it read for whatever reason. Now I know, I didn’t need it then. I needed it today. The day that I got so upset with one of my children that I raised my voice and threw stuff around. I knew I was getting upset and even asked God to help calm me…then I instantly went my own way and started acting like a two-year old. Thank you for the reminder that I AM NOT PERFECT! None the less, God can still use me! Thank you.

  26. I’m so glad I read this post tonight. I have been experiencing wild mood changes from early menopause and recently weaning off an antidepressant…tonight was especially tough. I needed to be reminded that “God’s power is made perfect in my weakness”. When I am afraid I will trust in Him. I am more than a conquerer through Christ who gives me strength. Satan wants my mind and soul, but I am a daughter of the King. I am loved. I am protected from the Evil One. Lord, forgive me for taking my eyes off of you. Hold me close when the hormones start to take over. You are my everything. All praise and glory belong to you.