I wish to encourage you to rejoice in your weakness. The world would have you believe that any and all weakness that deprive you of fleshly happiness is bad, wrong, and unloving if caused by someone else. This is the grossest of errors at every level. Unfortunately, we Christians can easily buy into this wrong way of thinking if we are not careful to protect our minds through Scripture.
We tend to view our weaknesses as debilitating, and of no value. God, on the other hand, pro-actively employs our weaknesses as His vehicle, or tool, to achieve His glory in ways we never imagined possible. The Lord takes our inabilities, our painful struggles, even our deficient efforts, He adds His behind-the-scenes sovereign power, He stirs peoples’ hearts by His Holy Spirit, He coordinates events and so-called chance happenings, resulting in His providence – the working out of His perfect will in our lives. Most of the time, we’re not aware of His miraculous power at work, however, we often have the joy of seeing the results.
Our Saviour is not a harsh task master, rather, Christ is our high priest who… sympathises …with our weaknesses, …who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Be encouraged to view your struggles as your Heavenly Father views them, as divinely appointed and customised mechanisms for squashing self-dependence while increasing awareness and reliance upon the Lord’s intervening sufficiency’s.
The apostle Paul explains that while in Asia, the affliction they experienced… caused them to feel …so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself (2 Corinthians 1:8). Paul’s attitude toward his own vulnerabilities, difficulties, sufferings, sense of exasperation, and general human weaknesses, are explained in 2 Corinthians 12:10; ”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”. Paul recognised the essential opportunities for Christ’s purposes and glory offered by difficulties. He also understood that only through personal weakness can Christ’s strength be experienced, causing contentment. What a divinely difficult concept for our human hearts to accept.
James, the brother of Jesus, exhorts us to Count it all joy… when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Realising our frequent failure to understand our struggles and inabilities, James offers spiritual relief by identifying that If any of you lacks wisdom… in relation to your trials …let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him (James 1:2-5).
The apostle Peter, who knew the crushing reality of failure in his Christian life, uplifts his readers by reassuring them that God’s divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence (2 Peter 1:3).
When we are exhausted of all our ideas, energies, and resources, only then are we set free from self to lean in dependant faith upon Christ. Through prayer, we discover consolation in Christ and solace in His majestic character. Through meditation upon His Word, we find comfort from His sovereignty, we find relief through His providential working within our circumstances, we find peace and joy from the mind governing truths of Scripture, and we find hope in His Lordship over time and destiny.
Resting in Christ: Lincoln Forlong