Life has so many things that defeat us. We are busy trying to master finances, relationships, children, jobs, spiritual things, and in infinite list of other things. But, the real challenge? We are all trying to live out the Christian life. We must have faith and hope. How can I forgive? What is peace anyway, and how do I get it? I’m emotionally done in. How can I stay pure? How do I overcome sin and temptation? How do I do the ministry God has called me too? How many more questions can we ask? What is it you are facing that has left you drowning? We are constantly up against just how inadequate we are. We feel like we have been benched while everyone else in out there “in the game.” Why is that? Do we set the bar too high? I think sometimes we do. But, life throws a lot at us.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (CSB)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness. ”Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. 10 So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 4:7 (CSB)
7 Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us.
Ephesians 3:16-20 (CSB)
16 I pray that he may grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power in your inner being through his Spirit, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, 19 and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.20 Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us—
Ephesians 6:10 (CSB)
10 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by his vast strength.
We are called to a different kind of life with a different understanding of what is right, what it means to live successfully, how to do conflict, the goals we are to set, and what it means to accomplish great things. I know people who have overcome tremendous weakness in very difficult situations. The challenge to forgive….not just the easy stuff. I know people who have forgiven tremendous wrong. I know people who know how to bear others burdens. I know people who treat all they meet with love. I know people who practice the peace of Christ and it overflows to those around them. I know people who are compassionate, kind, humble, patient, joyful, good, faithful and grateful. I have seen humble people brave loss with courage and forgiveness, while emotionally struggling through very, very difficult times. How? Why am I so inadequate to brave the things in life that are not nearly as arduous?
We often try to tackle life on our own strength. We have many tools to draw from. There is great deal of self-help information available to us. While we should take advantage of all the tools and education we have access to, we need to keep all things in the proper perspective. What is that perspective? We need to take to heart what the Bible teaches us about strength and weakness. We often respond to difficulty by mustering our strength and trying to charge in with our solutions. We are defeated because of our absolute inability to accomplish or sustain any victory in most areas of life. Why? We are using the wrong strength. The Bible gives us a view into how life should be. It is a life built on an entirely different platform. It is a world of victory that is built on a worldview that is opposite to that of the world. The Bible tells us that we have very little strength in our own selves. Our strength comes from Christ. This is a strength that flows from His power. This is a strength that flows from His love. This is a strength that we have through His Spirit. This strength can only be accessed when we recognize that we are weak, that we can not do it ourselves. Only by this realization, and subsequent action that is consistent with this worldview, can we begin to experience the kind of victory that God has purposed for us. So, when you are facing life, prayerfully set all things before God. Get out of the way and let Christ be your strength both for you and through you.