Perfect strength in weakness
“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.
Paul could proclaim this with such unmistakable full assurance because he had experienced and discovered personally that God’s strength is made perfect in weakness. This is the only way of partaking of God’s strength.
We also read that in Isaiah 40:29. Here we don’t read that the weak have little strength. On the contrary, it says: “He gives power to the weak, and to him who has no might He increases strength.” Our feelings may go up and down, our reasoning and experiences are speaking, and we just do not know what to do. Then it is vital to believe in God!
Jesus said to the woman in John 11:40: “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” God can give great power to the person who has no strength. God’s power begins where my strength ceases!
Those who always wait on the Lord do not wait for help from their own arm or for consolation and help from family and friends. They will receive new strength, lifting their wings like eagles. They will have the experience of running and not becoming weary, and walking and not fainting. (Isaiah 40:31)
From where do I get my strength?
From where do I get my strength and help in the situations of daily life? Is it natural for me always to lift up my wings and my eyes to the hills, or do I see horizontally, to things and people around me?
“My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-8. These are the ones whose feet will not be moved, and God is their keeper who neither slumbers nor sleeps; He will even be their shade at their right hand!
This means that, regardless of time and place, He is with me! And Jesus says, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20. No day is excluded when Jesus says, “always.” Every day, all life long, without exception!
Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. Then the answer – the means and the hope – follows right after: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29.
To see a need for bearing Jesus’ yoke, I must first acknowledge that I am laboring and that I am heavy laden. I must acknowledge my own weakness to get strength. My, my human nature that weighs me down, that can also be a burden for those around me, and to be able to bear it I need a yoke. Here, Jesus makes us this offer to bear His yoke.
“My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:30. When I bear Jesus’ yoke, it will cost me my own will, my human self-life, and my self-righteousness; this yoke refuses to let me live for myself, and compels me to live for others. In return, I receive something of heaven, that which is eternal!
We are exhorted to live with this attitude that Jesus had! “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” – He who renounced being like God and who took on the form of a servant! He humbled Himself! We can be humbled; but what a difference there is between being humbled and humbling myself in life’s circumstances! There are many times, first of all with those who are nearest and dearest, when I can give up my own will, and by doing that, take on the form of a servant.
This is the key to heavenly exaltation: “Therefore God has also highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name …” Philippians 2:6-9. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us …” Ephesians 3:20.
God’s strength starts in my weakness – wherecomes to an end!
This article has been translated from Norwegian, and was first published under the title “No strength – great power” in BCC’s periodical Skjulte Skatter (Hidden Treasures) in October 2018.
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