Such an amazing truth comes to us from 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.”
Lately it seems every Child of God around me is dealing with this truth. Every one of us carries some type of weakness, some of us now ensudure harship and persecution, others are seeing their lives tumble around them. So many right now, in fact, that those who normally are the ones who can encourage an entire Church to remain fixed on Jesus, are they themselves in need of someone to cradle their heads so they can view His face.
Although hard to grasp by our finite minds, there is a divine link between human weakness and spiritual strength. Our treasure lies in finding the application in our lives. Paul has found it in 2 Corinthians 12, declaring
2 Cor 12:9 “He (Jesus) 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.” He then continues with verse 10, and I will quote it again to gain the beauty of context: 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.
I think this verse is often stripped down by the modern day church so that we miss it’s powerful meaning. Simply stated (and often quoted this way) it means that God will help up through anything, and this is ceartainly true. But I also think it deals powerfully with the question of how can we as humans really submit to God’s will in our own power. Is it even possible? Can we without God do that which is commanded of us, and submit to burdens so extreme that Satan would use them to crush us if he could? Not just the lipservice we often give to make it sound like we are submitting, but taking true joy in our trials and wholeheartedly believing that they are for our own good, not to mention for God’s Glory.
I was reading a few months ago about a man of faith, George Mueller, about his statements on his wife’s death. His belief that “God is good, and doeth good” made a profound impact on me, which God was able to use last week as I was dealing with trials of my own:
“The last portion of scripture which I read to my precious wife was this: “The Lord God is a sun and shield, the Lord will give grace and glory, no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Now, if we have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have received grace, we are partakers of grace, and to all such he will give glory also. I said to myself, with regard to the latter part, “no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly”—I am in myself a poor worthless sinner, but I have been saved by the blood of Christ; and I do not live in sin, I walk uprightly before God. Therefore, if it is really good for me, my darling wife will be raised up again; sick as she is. God will restore her again. But if she is not restored again, then it would not be a good thing for me. And so my heart was at rest. I was satisfied with God. And all this springs, as I have often said before, from taking God at his word, believing what he says.”
I wonder how often we lie to ourselves and say that we really believe the Word, that “all things work together for good to those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.” Do we believe to the point that when our spouses, our own hearts, lie dying before us, that we can say if they “are not restored again, it would not be a good thing for me.”?
For me the application has come from understanding that God not only gives us the situation, and demands our unconditional submission to His will. He also gives us the ability to submit to Him, with submission that worships Him in times of trial. As a sister in Christ told me last week, “He has to make us Ok with His will.” God has to apply His power to our hearts and minds to give us the resources not just to live through trials, but to triumph through them holding high the banner that CHRIST DOES NOT LIE when the Word tells us He gives us His sufficiency. For Our God is ABLE:
Heb 7:25 “He is able to save to the uttermostthose who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them”
Heb 2:18: “For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
2 Cor 1:4: “who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
As I write these things down, I realize that I am mostly preaching to myself. I know that most of you who are in my heart and on my mind undoubltably understand these truths of God more than me. Your actions show testimony of it. I am always encouraged by you.
I also know that none is more guilty of making God a liar than I am, when I say that I submit to His will in public, then cry and question when in private. I am aware that this is not submission at all. So my prayer is that God would, in fact, “make me ok, with His will.”