Be Weak! Be Strong!

Be Weak! Be Strong!

“God’s power is secure in us only when it is linked to something that keeps us weak.” (Richard Bieber)

A working definition of weakness in the Bible: A lack of strength or an inadequacy due to… a handicap or disability; insulting opposition; a glaring vulnerability; sickness or grief; a limitation that puts one at a disadvantage; bearing the difficult burdens of others.

1.  “I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it…” (2 Corinthians 12:7-8)

“It is the Holy Spirit that teaches the world and each individual in it, of its need to be redeemed from self-sufficiency.” (Thomas Wells)

2. “Be strong and of good courage. Fear not, be not dismayed. Arise and be doing! The Lord be with you. (1 Chronicles 22:13,16)

“Weak is the new strong.” (Rob Bell)

3. “My favor and loving kindness are always more than enough for you; my merciful love is all you need. In fact, my strength comes into its own in your weakness. My power shows itself most effective when you are weak; it finds its full expression through your weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

“We need to come deeply to believe that our basis of power is not our professionalism or connections or resources. The basis for our power is our dependence on God… Our effectiveness is explained by our dependence on God.” (Jayakumar Christian)

4. “Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded you; turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:7)

“Let this one great, gracious, glorious fact lie in your spirit until it permeates all your thoughts and makes you rejoice even though you are without strength. Rejoice that the Lord Jesus has become your strength and your song- He has become your salvation.” (Charles Spurgeon)

5. “Therefore I will all the more gladly celebrate my weaknesses, I will glory in my limitations and infirmities, so that the strength of Christ Jesus may pitch a tent over me and dwell upon me. When I’m weak, I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

“Let the weak say I am strong. Let the poor say I am rich. Let the blind say I can see what the Lord has done in me.” (Reuben Morgan)

6. “I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord!  (Psalm 27:14)

“I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency.” (Philipp. 4:13, Amplified)

7. “Now I’m not defeated by my weakness, I take my limitations in stride, with delight and good cheer. I take pleasure in opposition, in bad breaks, in insults, in weaknesses, in perplexities, in distresses, and in all kinds of hardships. I just let Christ and his strength take over!” (2 Corinthians 12:10)

“God desires that we come to maturity by using our strengths to get us into significant trouble that exposes our weaknesses.” (Dan Allender)

8. “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 2:1)

“God is attracted to weakness.” (Jim Cymbala)

9. “For when I am weak in human strength, then am I truly powerful in divine strength. The weaker I get, the stronger I become. My weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.”  (2 Corinthians 12:10)

“The Christian often tries to forget his weakness; God wants us to remember it, to feel it deeply.” (Andrew Murray)

10. “Be strong and of good courage; do not fear or be in dread of them. For it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

“Congratulations! You’re weak and running on empty! The un-blessed are in a state of blessing. The dis-graced in a state of grace. Jesus says, Blessed are you, and it’s high time to celebrate your good fortune.” (Steve Larson)

11. “I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again… Who is weak, and I do not feel their weakness? If I must boast, I will boast about examples of my weakness, of the very things that show my limitations.”  (2 Corinthians 11:23-30)

“Here is a man, Job, steeped in the consciousness of his mortality and human weakness. He knows well his frailty. It is Job’s intimate knowledge of his own utter helplessness that becomes the very ground upon which he stands as he reaches out boldly to shake the throne of God.” (Mike Mason)

12. “Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)

“The Christian wants to conquer his weakness and to be freed from it; God wants us to rest and rejoice in it.” (Andrew Murray)

13. “For though Jesus was crucified in weakness and humiliation, yet he goes on living by the mighty power of God; and though we too are weak as he was humanly weak, yet we will show ourselves alive and strong in fellowship with him, to serve you through the power of God.”  (2 Corinthians 13:4)

“The Christian mourns over his weakness; Christ teaches his servant to say, “I take pleasure in infirmities; most gladly will I glory in my infirmities.” (Andrew Murray)

14. “Be strong and of good courage, and do it. Fear not, be not dismayed; for the Lord God, even My God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.” (1 Chronicles 28:20)

“The Christian thinks his weakness his greatest hindrance in the service of God; God tells us that it is the secret of strength and success.” (Andrew Murray)

15. “Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of what the world calls the ‘best and the brightest’ among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. But God deliberately chose the foolish of the world to put the wise to shame; He singled out the weak of the world to put the strong to shame. He has chosen ‘nobodies’ of little strength and small repute, yes and even things which have no real existence, to expose the hollow pretensions of the ‘somebodies.’ So that no one might feel boastful in the presence of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)

“It is our weakness, heartily accepted and continually realized, that gives us our claim and access to the strength of him who said, ‘My strength is made perfect in weakness.'” (Andrew Murray)

16. “The Lord gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength… They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength.”  (Isaiah 40:29-31)

“We are treated as unknown and ignored by the world, and yet we are well-known and recognized by God and his people; as dying, and yet we are alive; as chastened by suffering, and yet not killed; as grieved and mourning, yet we are always rejoicing; as poor ourselves, yet bestowing riches on many; as having nothing, and yet in reality possessing all things.” (2 Corinthians 6:9-10)

“Help me, God, to realize it is in being crippled that I learn to cling, and in limping that I learn to lean.” (Ken Gire)


** All scriptural quotes are from a variety of Bible translations. All other quotes are from various authors.

3 Replies to “Be Weak! Be Strong!”

  1. It’s like it doesn’t matter how weak you are, as long as you unite yourself to the source of all real power and strength, you are strong. Try to be “strong” apart from it though, and you are truly weak.

  2. Thanks for this powerful cantata of scripture and quotes. It is a firm reminder that our power comes not from our effort and talent, but from the Lord. Wonderfully affirming; so challenging to believe. It resonated all the more authentically knowing the challenges you have had with with your own health. Thanks for writing this, Steve!

  3. “The Christian thinks his weakness his greatest hindrance in the service of God; God tells us that it is the secret of strength and success.” (Andrew Murray)

    What a great quote. I remember having a conversation with a friend in college that helped shape the way I looked at my own weakness. He said, “People say God will only give you what you can handle. That’s not true. God always gives us more than we can handle because it encourages us to depend on Him.”

    He takes the weakest parts to be His greatest strength.

    Thanks for the quotes/thoughts!