Think About This: “The yoke of affliction, disappointment, and excessive labor is by no means to be sought for; but when the Lord lays it on us in our youth, it frequently develops a character that glorifies God and blesses the Church.” – C. H. Spurgeon
Posted on September 15, 2021 by Catey Stover in Victory Call
How do we encourage people when they are struggling? We may say, “Be strong.” But what if instead, we said, “Be weak”? What?
Oftentimes our problem, when we are going through struggles, is that we try to have a stiff upper lip, pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, and gut it out, putting on our best face and being strong. I find that usually backfires. It isn’t until I reckon that I am weak that God can really get to work in my life.
I clearly remember times saying to the Lord, “You promised to never give me more than I can bear, but I think this burden I am now carrying IS more than I can bear.” Leaning on 1 Corinthians 10:13 “…God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability…”
First of all, I was misapplying that Scripture. This Scripture is speaking of temptation. God will not let us be tempted beyond our ability to withstand it because He always gives us a way out of temptation, whether we take it or not is another story.
Second, being strong is all about me. My strength, my ability, my endurance. Bearing life’s burdens, going through life’s trials and struggles by being strong is our attempt to do life apart from God.
…For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 2 Corinthians 1:8-9
Weakness was not how I was raised. Strong independence was ingrained in me and in some aspects of my life it has served me well, but never in my spiritual life or marriage for that matter.
I am learning to be weak. Somehow I feel like I am failing unless I am strong with an I-can-do-this kind of attitude. It feels wrong to say, “I can’t do this.” But as I said… I’m learning.
The sooner we get to the place where we cry out to God because we realize our strength is getting us nowhere, the sooner God will be our strength. It is in our weakness that He does His best work. Ever notice that?
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Please hear me. I am NOT saying we should throw up our hands, say “I give up” and go back to bed. I am NOT saying we should say “I can’t do this” sit down and watch TV all day.
I AM saying we need to get on our knees and cry out to God, “I can’t do this. I’ve tried a thousand times and failed over and over again. I can’t but I know You can. Forgive me for trying to do life in my own strength apart from You. Teach me Lord to rely on and rest in You. I can’t do this in my strength. I am weak. I chose to trust You to do this through me.”
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10
Written By Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and provides ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at email@example.com.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. -1 John 4:9