How would you feel if you were Superman’s little cousin? To have the same powers of X-Ray, heat vision, etc.—which effectively renders you invincible—would make life extremely interesting.
Some of you may realize that I am talking about Supergirl, a new CBS series starring Melissa Benoist, that has received critical acclaim and high viewership. It’s an intriguing story about Kara Zor-El, who was Fed-Exed off Krypton to earth much like Superman.
Except in her case, she had to hide her powers until she reached her 20’s, and now she is gainfully employed by a super cool, super secret agency and she is saving National City (like Metropolis—only with Palm trees) from terrible disasters.
At this point, you might expect me to make some Bible parallel between Superman and Supergirl with us as Christians—right? And to be sure, we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God, so we do possess unfathomable spiritual power to be used in reaching people for Christ.
But I would like to consider a different take on Supergirl…
Why? Because when I watch movies about the Man of Steel, or shows about the Girl of Steel, I actually don’t feel super empowered.
To be honest, I feel super tired!
I see them performing heroic acts with undaunted courage and seemingly endless energy, and it reminds me of how cowardly I handle situations and how exhausted I feel so much of the time.
I guess you could say that tiredness is my Kryptonite—right?
But one day, while wallowing in a semi-state of self-pity, I came across this fantastic passage:
To keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 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 12:7b-10
These inspired verses were written by the Apostle Paul, who started churches all over Asia and wrote over 75% of the New Testament! Some might have called him the “super Apostle,” but in this surprisingly candid passage, we see that he too struggled with his own version of Kryptonite that kept him from becoming proud.
Isn’t it interesting that he asked Jesus three times to take his weakness away—yet our Lord refused his request? That must mean something very important, because most of us would be pretty frustrated with unanswered prayers.
But Jesus gave Paul the answer: “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
In other words, when we are foolish enough to think that we can handle and control our lives, we walk away from the most powerful force in the universe. And that is why we falter and fail and end up exhausted.
But when we embrace our Kryptonite and our weakness, it changes our perspective back onto Jesus Christ. At that moment, He grants us unsurpassed power from the Throne of Heaven, and we can be renewed.
The word for “best” in this verse literally means that the power of Christ grows as our weaknesses are increased. So in reality—the weaker we are—the stronger He is!
So if you are feeling more like the man or woman of cardboard, instead of steel this week, and your personal Kryptonite is debilitating to the point of near exhaustion, remember that it might be a message from God to rest in His presence and power. Take some time to relax, renew, and refresh in the charisma of His company, and you will personally experience the incredible promise given to us through the prophet Isaiah:
Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He 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.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:28-31).
Super tired? Plug into the Super Strength!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
This week, give your weaknesses to Jesus and let His power become a reality in your life!
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Thank you, Father, for allowing the weaknesses in our lives to become strengths for Your Kingdom and Your glory. May we boast in our weaknesses so others may see Your work in our lives and trust in You as Savior.
Read: Matthew 11:29. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Get: Live It Up! Student Devotional. Experiencing a joy-filled, all-in, God-breathed life, even in the midst of the tough stuff is what the Christian life is all up. This is what it really means to LIVE IT UP! Because only in living this kind of upwardly-focused life can true joy and meaning be found. Based on snapshots from the life of Christ, this 30 day devo will help you cultivate a LIVE IT UP lifestyle that impacts your world for Jesus! Pick up your copy today! A corresponding Live It Up! youth group curriculum is also available.
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Want to use this Soul Fuel as a bible study with your students this week? Copy and text them the following: “How would you feel if you were Superman’s cousin? Check out this week’s devo: http://hubs.ly/H01mXb10”
Big Idea: When we are weak, we are strong in Jesus Christ.
Key Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
- Who is your favorite superhero? Why?
- What form does your Kryptonite take?
- How can your weaknesses be strengths?
- What other ways could you apply this Soul Fuel to the THE Cause?