One of the most encouraging Scriptures in the Bible is 2 Corinthians 4:7: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”
Then Paul goes on to describe those earthen vessels—dying men, troubled on every side, perplexed, persecuted, cast down. And even though never forsaken or in despair, those men being used by God are constantly under the burden of their bodies, waiting anxiously to be clothed with new ones.
God mocks man’s power. He laughs at our egotistical efforts at being good. He never uses the high and mighty but, instead, uses the weak things of this world to confound the wise.
“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And the base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not…that no flesh should glory in his presence” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).
Does that ever describe me! Weak thing—foolish thing—despised thing—a base thing—not very noble—not very smart. Yet that is his perfect plan—the greatest mystery on earth. God calls us in our weakness. He puts his priceless treasure in these earthen vessels of ours because he delights in doing the impossible with nothing.
I saw Israel Narvaez, former Mau Mau gang leader, kneel and receive Christ as Lord. It was not just an emotional surface experience—he really meant it. But Israel went back to the gang and ended up in prison, an accessory to murder. Did God quit on him? Not for one moment! Today Israel is a minister of the gospel, having accepted the love and forgiveness of a longsuffering Savior.
Have you failed? Is there a sin that so easily besets you? Do you feel like a weakened coward, unable to get the victory over secret sin? But with that weakness in you, is there also a hunger for God? Do you yearn for him—love him—reach to him? That hunger and thirst is the key to your victory.
That makes you different from all the others who have been guilty of failing God. That sets you apart. You must keep that hunger alive. Keep thirsting after righteousness. Never justify your weakness—never give in to it—and never accept it as a part of your life.