Tag Archives: limitations

Embracing Limitations

I remember first hearing about Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” when I was young. There was debate on whether it was a physical handicap that happened to him or a person who heckled him everywhere he went or something else. I don’t God told us what it was because we don’t need to know. I know it’s fun to speculate, but whatever it was it humbled him and limited his effectiveness in his mind. We know that he was surprised that after asking God three times to remove whatever it was that God didn’t remove it. God allowed whatever it was to bother him or limit him to continue so that Paul would be humble and learn to rely on God’s strength and wisdom instead of his own.

Think of something in your life that is happening or has happened that bothers you or feels like it’s limiting you. It probably consumes a lot of your thinking of how to get rid of it or to escape it. Has it caused an increase in your prayer life? Has it caused you to depend on and seek God more? If it has, then what looks like a curse, may actually be a blessing in disguise. I know it’s hard to look at something annoying or painful in our life and to see that as a blessing, but anything that draws us into a closer relationship and dependence on God is a blessing though it may not seem like it at the time. We like having an easy life and smooth sailing, but those things don’t produce mature believers. They produce overconfidence in our own abilities. One of my favorite quotes is that smooth seas never produced a skilled sailor.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says, “then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become” (MSG). Learning to take our limitations in stride is hard, but necessary in our maturity. Difficult things happen to everyone. How we respond matters. We can get angry and depressed or we can let them push us into greater dependence on God and His grace.

Photo by the blowup on Unsplash

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Embracing Our Weaknesses


I was speaking with a friend the other day, and I asked how his shoulder was recovering after his replacement surgery. He said it was improving, but now he was being treated for Tennis Elbow in the other arm. It turns out that while he was having trouble with his shoulder, he was overcompensating with his other arm to make up for it. Now it has created a whole new problem that will require more work to correct.

Each of us have strengths and weaknesses. Like my friend, we try to overcompensate for our weaknesses. That’s not God’s plan for us. Our weaknesses remind us of our need to rely on Him in our lives. When we try to bypass Him no do things on our own, we create more problems in our life. We need to learn to embrace our weaknesses, and allow them to push us to rely on God more in our lives. 

Here are some Bible verses about trusting God through our weaknesses.

1. We don’t just put up with our limitations; we celebrate them.
2 Corinthians 13:9 MSG

2. If I must boast, I will boast of the things that reveal my weakness [the things by which I am made weak in the eyes of my opponents].
2 CORINTHIANS 11:30 AMP

3. God purposely chose what the world considers nonsense in order to shame the wise, and he chose what the world considers weak in order to shame the powerful.
1 Corinthians 1:27 GNT

4. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NLT

5. And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.
Hebrews 11:32-34 ESV

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