Do you have a disability or handicap, or do you feel too inadequate or disadvantaged to achieve anything noteworthy for God? Well, what if I told you that God actually prefers people with weaknesses and disabilities? Check out this Bible verse:
“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty, and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His Presence.” (I Corinthians 1:27-29)
Employers, sports teams, clubs, and other organizations may prefer individuals with the best of qualities, but God prefers people with weaknesses. And, when we get down to it, don’t we all have weaknesses? Why does God like to choose people with weaknesses to do His work? So that His might and glory are revealed. If a wealthy, physically fit and talented person does something noteworthy, don’t we credit his/her abilities with it? However, when we see a disadvantaged person accomplishing great things, we can see the power of God working in them. Seeing God empower other disadvantaged people encourages us and gives us hope that He can and will help us in our weaknesses as well, and this is why God chooses the disadvantaged.
The Bible is packed with examples of how God uses people with weaknesses and disadvantages. Check out the following individuals.
1. Moses: from a stutterer to a important spokesman
Moses had a speech impediment, but God still chose him to be Israel’s most important leader and spokesperson. (Exodus 3:10) Moses was nervous about this job and tried to get out of it.
“Then Moses said to the Lord, ‘O My Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant, but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.'” (Exodus 4:10)
But, notice how God responds to Moses in the next verse:
“So the Lord said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Or, who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.'” (Exodus 4:11-12)
God knew Moses had a handicap, but He still had confidence in Moses. God knows your weaknesses, but He has confidence in you too, and will help you just as He did Moses.
2. Jeremiah: from an experienced youth to a respected prophet
If you feel your youth is a disadvantage, you should remember how God enabled and empowered Jeremiah!
Jeremiah was just a young, inexperienced man, yet God chose him before he was ever born to be a prophet for Him. When God told Jeremiah the plans He had for him, Jeremiah said this:
“Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” (Jeremiah 1:6)
Jeremiah felt he was way too young to do the job. He also probably felt that no one would listen to him because he was too young. However, this is what God says in reply:
“Do not say ‘I am a youth,’ for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,’ says the Lord.
“Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me, ‘Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms…” (Jeremiah 1:7-10)
Never think that your youth is a disadvantage. With God’s help, you can achieve much.
3. Caleb: success at the age of 85
On the other hand, if you feel you are too old, and that it is too late to accomplish anything, think again! Caleb experienced great success at the ripe old age of 85!
Caleb first began his career as a young soldier who then became an assistant and servant to Joshua. When he was sent out with a group of spies to scout the Promised Land of Canaan, the whole group, except himself and Joshua, became afraid of the giants living in the land and insecure of their ability to conquer the land. However, Caleb and Joshua both had faith that God would enable their inability. Because of Caleb’s faith in God, and because he never gave up on God’s promises, God blessed Caleb with health, great strength, and his very own mountain when he was 85 years old. (Numbers, chapters 13-14 and Joshua 14:6-14)
You may be getting on up in years, but never give up on God’s promises or ability to give you success.
4. Matthew: from despised tax collector to respected apostle
I Corinthians 1:27-29 also says that God chooses the “despised.” Matthew was one despised. He was a tax collector, and during the days of Jesus, tax collectors were despised by society because they were seen as traitors. Tax collectors were often Jews who worked for the Roman government to collect taxes. The tax collectors had a reputation for overcharging tax amounts so that they could pocket some of the money for themselves. Yet, Jesus chose one of these tax collectors to be one of His apostles. (Matthew 9:9; 10:2-3)
If you feel like a low-life for whatever reasons, whether it be because of a small bank account, your neighborhood, your family reputation, or any other reason, rest assured, that God does not look down on you. God sees the heart of everyone, and He bases His judgments on the contents of a person’s heart. (I Samuel 16:7) God saw Matthew’s potential and chose him to be someone who would help build His church and become a respected leader in that church. God knows your potential, and He can do great things for you too, if you allow Him to do so.
5. A little boy with only two loaves and five fish feeds a multitude
In Matthew 14:15-21, a young boy gave his five bread loaves and two fish to Jesus, who then used them to feed a multitude, numbering more than 5,000 people.
You may think, “How can I do anything for anyone when I have so little? How can I do good for God when I barely have enough for myself?” God doesn’t care how little or how much you have, only that you do good with it. If you only have a little, use it for God in whatever way you can, and God will make much out of your little.
Some time ago, I was out of work and had no money. My young niece was having some health and emotional problems. I wanted so much to help her but felt so inadequate because I felt I had nothing to give her. But, she called me asking if I had something for a migraine. I said I had some ibuprofen. She said that would work. She asked if I could drive her to the doctor. I said I could. I had ibuprofen and a vehicle, and that turned out to be much for my niece, because while I was driving her to the doctor, she poured out her heart to me, telling me about her problems. I was able to encourage her and let her know that she was very loved. After she got out of the doctor, she was smiling and telling me how much better she felt. God showed me that day that it doesn’t matter how little you think you have, if you use it for good, He can make much out of it.
6. Tabitha: from ordinary to extraordinary
Tabitha was an ordinary woman with an ordinary job as a seamstress, yet because she used her sewing to make clothing for others and as an opportunity to share God’s love with others, she knit an entire community of Christians together. (Acts 9:36-42)
You may feel you are just an ordinary person with an ordinary job, but if you use it as an opportunity to share God’s love, He will make you an extraordinary person.
7. Jesus: from a pauper to a King
Jesus may be the King of kings, but He started out as a baby in a manger. His parents were poor and had to sleep in a stable while traveling to Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’s birth. When it came time for Him to begin His ministry, Jesus still had nothing. He had no pillow to lay His head. Other people who traveled with Him, “ministered to Him,” meaning they helped provide Him with food and other necessities. He had nothing, and yet He saved all of mankind by giving the only thing He had, his life.
Most likely, no matter how poor you think you are, you have more than Jesus did when walked the earth. If Jesus can accomplish much with the little He had, so can you. The key to achieving much with little is simply using it when God gives you the opportunity. When you do this, God will use your little to do great things with it.