Since 1862, children around the world have been singing the words of Anna Bartlett Warner’s hymn, “Jesus Loves Me.” Its first stanza contains a line that is true for children and adults alike: “Little ones to Him belong—they are weak but He is strong.”
At this point in our study of evangelism, you may be feeling overwhelmed. We have a wonderful task—to share God’s love in Christ with the people around us. But we are also aware of our own frailty. None of us is as winsome or prayerful or bold or faithful as we know we ought to be. All around us, people are drowning in their sins and we feel like we can’t throw out enough life rafts fast enough. Or, we are throwing out life rafts and our friends and neighbors seem to just ignore them.
Today’s passage offers us rest and encouragement. Our weakness is not a surprise to God. He has deliberately and lovingly placed the treasure of His gospel “in jars of clay” (v. 7). In fact, throughout the Bible, God repeatedly uses frail people. He made Moses, who struggled to speak, His prophetic mouthpiece (see Ex. 6:10–12). He made women, whose testimony was suspect in the first century, the primary witnesses of His resurrection (see Luke 24:1–11). He made Paul, with his constant physical affliction, His world-traveling missionary (see 2 Cor. 12:7–10). And he made each one of us, with our weakness and struggles, His evangelists in the world.
Why? He does this so that we will not depend on ourselves or focus on ourselves. He does this so the world will know that the power of the gospel comes from Him alone. He is the one who takes our feeble evangelistic efforts and uses them to accomplish His saving purposes. “Therefore we do not lose heart” (v. 16).
We can become discouraged when we are aware of our weakness. Take heart in God’s encouragement that He is glorified even in our frailty, and He uses us to accomplish His saving purposes. Sing “Jesus Loves Me” as an acknowledgment of your weakness and an affirmation of your trust in God. We are weak, but He is strong!