Sermon quotes on weakness

O.A. Battista

The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how much they love them while they’re still alive.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Christ] is weak and powerless in the world, and that is precisely the way, the only way, in which he is with us and helps us. Matthew 8:17 makes it quite clear that Christ helps us, not by virtue of his omnipotence, but by virtue of his weakness and suffering. . . . That is a reversal of what the religious man expects from God. Man is summoned to share in God’s sufferings at the hands of a godless world.

Letters and Papers from Prison, ed. Eberhard Bethge, enlarged ed. (New York: Macmillan, 1972), 360.

Pearl S. Buck

Yet somehow our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is in the way that it cares for its helpless members.

My Several Worlds, 1954.

John Calvin

For men have no taste for (God’s power) till they are convinced of their need of it and they immediately forget its value unless they are conditionally reminded by awareness of their own weakness.

Shusaku Endō

Every weakness contains within itself a strength.

Annie Johns Flint

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,

When our strength has failed ere that day is half done

When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,

Our Father’s full giving has only begun.

His love has no limit,

His grace has no measure,

His power has no boundary known unto men;

For out of his infinite riches in Jesus,

He giveth, and giveth and giveth again.

He Giveth More Grace (Hymn)


Mark R. Gornik

Here then from both James and Paul is a central witness drawn from all of Scripture: God has sovereignly chosen to work in the world by beginning with the weak who are on the ‘outside,’ not the powerful who are on the ‘inside.’”

To Live in Peace: Biblical Faith and the Changing Inner City, Eerdmans Publishing.

Victor Hugo

The future has several names. For the weak, it is impossible; for the fainthearted, it is unknown; but for the valiant, it is ideal.”

Les Misérables

Jack Hyles

God does not choose those who are fit. He outfits those whom He chooses.

Thomas a Kempis

The acknowledgment of our weakness is the first step in repairing our loss.

Ronald Knox

Throughout two thousand years of history, Christians, both whole churches and individual believers, have consistently been able to ignore many of Jesus’ key commandments and invitations. We have either been too weak to follow his counsels or we have rationalized them away in some way.

Taken from Robert Barron, The Eucharist, 10.

Tim Lane and Paul Tripp

Weak and needy people finding their hope in Christ’s grace are what mark a mature relationship. The most dangerous aspect of your relationships is not your weakness, but your delusions of strength.

C.S. Lewis

It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

The Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses

Dwight L. Moody

Real true faith is man’s weakness leaning on God’s strength.

Mother Teresa

A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt, and must empty ourselves. Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in his love than in your weakness.

Perry Noble

We should always use our weaknesses to point others to Christ’s strength.


Henri Nouwen

Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.

J.I. Packer

God uses chronic pain and weakness, along with other afflictions, as his chisel for sculpting our lives.



Parker J. Palmer

I now know myself to be a person of weakness and strength, liability and giftedness, darkness and light. I now know that to be whole means to reject none of it but to embrace all of it.

Parker J. Palmer

But if I am to let my life speak things I want to hear, things I would gladly tell others, I must also let it speak things I do not want to hear and would never tell anyone else! My life is not only about my strengths and virtues; it is also about my liabilities and my limits, my trespasses and my shadow. An inevitable though often ignored dimension of the quest for ‘wholeness’ is that we must embrace what we dislike or find shameful about ourselves as well as what we are confident and proud of.” 

Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation

Eugene H. Peterson

[Jesus] said “Follow me” and ended up with a lot of losers. And these losers ended up, through no virtue or talent of their own, becoming saints. Jesus wasn’t after the best but the worst.


Charles Stanley

 No one enjoys feeling weak, whether it is emotionally, spiritually or physically. There is something within the human spirit that wants to resist the thought of weakness. Many times this is nothing more than our human pride at work. Just as weakness carries a great potential for strength, pride carries an equally great potential for defeat.

Wayne Stiles

God works through our waiting to strengthen our character through weakness, to develop our peace of mind by trusting him in chaos, and to teach us that we can glorify him just as much by waiting on him as we can by serving him.

Waiting on God, Baker Publishing Group, 2015, p.117.

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Many a humble soul will be amazed to find that the seed it sowed in weakness, in the dust of daily life, has blossomed into immortal flowers under the eye of the Lord.

Leo Tolstoy

All the girls in the world were divided into two classes: one class included all the girls in the world except her, and they had all the usual human feelings and were very ordinary girls; while the other class -herself alone- had no weaknesses and was superior to all humanity.

Anna Karenina

Abraham Wright

I am mended by my sickness, enriched by my poverty and strengthened by my weakness…. What fools are we, then, to frown upon our afflictions! These, how crabbed soever, are our best friends. They are not indeed for our pleasure, they are for our profit.

The Golden Treasury of Puritan Quotations, p. 17

James Bryan Smith

Most of us live with the false narrative that strength is found in domination and control. But these are not the highest forms of power. God’s power is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). The power of the seed emerges only when the (wheat) seed dies. The power of God is demonstrated most clearly on the cross.

Shūsaku Endō

“Every weakness contains within itself a strength.”

Scandal, Penguin Books, 1990.

Alia Joy

We are a society that despises lack. We despise weakness and need and insufficiency. We turn the other way and pretend to be watching oncoming traffic when the red light halts us and the beggar reaches out toward our car with his cardboard sign. We admire pain only if it’s healed, only if it’s endured with perfect grace, with perfect faith, and never succumbed to in weakness, in f-bombs and rants and curses raised to the heavens.

Glorious Weakness: Discovering God in All We Lack, Baker Books, 2019.

Watchmen Nee

God’s means of delivering us from sin is not by making us stronger and stronger, but by making us weaker and weaker. That is surely rather a peculiar way of victory, you say; but it is the divine way. God sets us free from the dominion of sin, not by strengthening our old man but by crucifying him; not by helping him to do anything, but by removing him from the scene of action.

The Crucified Life

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