“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” — 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NASB)

School began just over a week ago. Many were not looking forward to going back because it meant waking up early in the morning and having to work, work, work. Reluctant students were reminded, “You can do it. You have the ability.”

Growing up, I had a few of those reminders. With determination, lots of discipline and perhaps the constant drumming of “use your brains more, study harder, you can do it,” I managed to get through my basic education.

But excellence in education is not all that is sought. People desire the ability to ace all aspects of their life. Whether through education, exercise, seminars, or even meditation, some people try ways and means to gain more strength, knowledge or power.

Contrary to the world’s teaching of “You can do it. You have the brains,” the Bible teaches dependence — on God. Paul spoke of the “thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9) that kept him humble. He said “I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”

No specific mention was ever made of what that thorn was. Whatever that affliction, it kept Paul from boasting of his own capabilities. He was limited by that “thorn” so everything he did was by the power of God. Because he could not have done it on his own, God’s name was glorified.

Many of you are probably very capable in your work, and that is wonderful because we want to do our very best for God. But, we often start claiming honour for ourselves because of our own abilities.

Whenever you do your work, keep in mind that it is God who takes the gifts He has given and strengthens you for the task. We may have received some form of training, but do recognise that He was the one who gave us the training to enable us. Always, acknowledge His sufficiency in all we do.

It may have been drummed into you that you are a capable person. You may be the most disciplined to prepare thoroughly. With all your hard work, you can produce a magnificent piece of work and people may praise you.

But keep in mind, everything done must be done in His power and strength. We can’t do it without Him. Only when we acknowledge our weakness, can His strength be seen.

As the hymn goes:

I am weak, but Thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
as I walk, let me walk close to Thee.

Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

Let His strength be always seen in us.


Thought For The Week (TFTW) is contributed by Dr Koh Siang Kiang, Associate Professor (Christian Education) at the Singapore Bible College (SBC). She graduated from SBC and Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), USA, and has served in various ministries for more than 35 years, including teaching at DTS. Dr Koh has been with SBC for the last 10 years, and has a passion for people and teaching the Word of God. She also loves to make the Bible come alive by leading tours to the Holy Land, and has led 12 such trips. To help her relax, Dr Koh likes to cook and cross-stitch.