Why does God work through the weak? It’s a common question. And it often betrays a false premise. Let’s tackle this by asking another question:
What if your childhood hero bumped into you?
You’re waiting in line at the movies, when all of a sudden you brush shoulders with the hero you grew up idolizing. Maybe it’s an Olympic athlete you watched take the gold, a famous actor starring in your favorite movie, or a politician with a platform you support. Whoever it is, you have a chance at a one-on-one interaction, albeit brief. What do you say?
Obviously, you’d want to convey your affinity for this person, to tell them of how your hopes would rise or sink with their success or failure. It would be a dream come true, right?
Why are the victories of worldly heroes so deeply personal to us? Because our heroes inspire hope in us.
Let’s look at the greatest hero history has ever known.
On Palm Sunday, as Jesus drew near the descent of the Mount of Olives, “the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen…” (Luke 19:37).
Praising God is a good thing, of course, but many in the multitude trusted in worldly strength first, Jesus second.
“Nevertheless, many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of man rather than the approval of God.” (John 12:42-43)
These followers put their hope in the wrong hero. What Jesus accomplished was infinitely greater than anything man could do and it required strength beyond measure. But if Jesus lets us place our hope in anything or anyone other than Himself, He would fail to win us over to Himself. Instead, He would create followers of signs and wonders, not disciples who love Jesus.
By the way, the disciples weren’t heroic either. At least not in the eyes of the world. They were ordinary guys with real flaws and real needs. Which is why they were perfect for the job! Their weaknesses proved Jesus’ strength for saving all humanity; it was needed to show the lost where our hopes and our trust really need to be placed.
The most troubling and wonderful truth about Jesus is that He is not a hero of our own design.
Jesus rescues us from sin, from the enemy and from ourselves. This kind of rescue is something the worldly hero will never have the strength to achieve.
God often works through the “weak” because they trust in His strength and place all their hope in His mission. God accomplishes mighty works through a willing heart.
We all need to be reminded that God can work through us, even when we are weak… especially when we are weak. II Corinthians 12:9 tells us that His strength is, “made perfect in weakness.”
Are you willing to place your hope in His mission and trust in His strength? When you do, He will transform you. He will do mighty works through your willing heart. You will be the hero that wins hearts to Jesus, where they can find the love and acceptance they so desperately seek.