There are times in which we all feel weak, exhausted, and/or discouraged. During these times, we may struggle to keep focused and maintain our commitments. As we experience these setbacks, it can make us doubt our capability as leaders and stifle forward progress.
The discouragement that often accompanies these seasons can lead us to believe that a period of temporary weakness is a flaw in our character or evidence of weak leadership. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. We can all find ourselves overwhelmed and feeling weak from time to time.
King David is one of the most well-known leaders in the Bible. While he was known as a man after God’s own heart, his life was not always a reflection of strength and good decisions. King David had some epic failures that caused significant challenges for him and those he was given the opportunity to lead.
King David was subject to the stresses and challenges as any other human leader. In II Samuel 3:39, King David said, “And today, though I am the anointed King, I am weak…” Despite his authority and resources as a King, he was not exempt from being tired, frustrated and overwhelmed.
The difference between King David and other leaders of his time is he understood two important concepts. First, he knew that our God is never weak and has authority over every circumstance. Second, he was committed to pursuing God despite past failures and the challenges that he was facing. Isaiah 40:29-31 says, “He (God) never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.”
This is such an encouraging verse. It reminds us that even when we feel exhausted, misunderstood, underappreciated, and powerless, we serve a God that never grows tired, understands our needs, and has the power to help us persevere.
Paul, yet another leader with an imperfect past, reminds us what God says about our human weakness. II Corinthians 12:9-11 says, “My (God’s) grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I (Paul) will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Like King David, Paul understood that we have access to a heavenly father that has the ability to support us when we are weak.
Paul was so confident in God’s ability that he did not hide the fact that he was weak and needed help at times. Many of us were taught that as leaders we should not show weakness. However, Paul used his weakness as a powerful testimony of God’s ability.
Weakness is not a sign of defeat. Rather, it is the opportunity to tap into the ultimate source of strength and power. Max Lucado summarizes this principle well when he said, “I simply think God is greater than our weakness. In fact, I think it is our weakness that reveals how great God is.” Remember we serve a good God that is capable of all things!