“Whether to [work] or to suffer for our Lord, we must have strength from above, and that strength can come to us only through faith. The remarkable mighty saints of Hebrews 11 accomplished all their feats by a power that was not in them by nature. They were not naturally strong either to do or to suffer. If they had been, they would not have required faith in God. They were quite as weak as the weakest of us, but by their faith they laid hold on heavenly strength until they could do all things.” – Charles Spurgeon
The longer I live, the more I realize how absolutely weak I am.
I have as much power to change my children’s hearts as an ant has of knocking over a sequoia. My desire to read Scripture is about as hot as a 3-day old used teabag. My zeal to serve others pales next to my craving for comfort. Oh weakling that I am! Who will deliver me from my spiritual puniness?
The Lord puts us in situations that reveal our weakness so we’ll look to him for strength. He leads us to the lapping waters of the Red Sea with Egyptians hot on our tail so we’ll cry out to him and see his mighty arm. He throws us into a den with lions, or a rebellious teen or an unreasonable boss, so we’ll learn that the battle is not ours, but the Lord’s.
Weakness forces us to exercise faith in Christ.
It forces us to look up, to seek by faith strength outside ourselves. It presses us to lay hold on heavenly strength. When we’re up against the Red Sea with Egyptian hoofbeats and chariot wheels rumbling in our ears, we MUST exercise faith. We MUST put our trust in God.
If we were strong in ourselves, we wouldn’t need faith. If the Israelites had been a mighty army, they could have fought Egypt themselves. But God exposes our feebleness to show us that our only hope is to trust in Christ to strengthen us, as Israel’s only hope was to trust God to deliver them.
Remind yourself that nothing is impossible to God, nothing is too hard for him. Set your hope fully on God. When you pray, thank God that the prayer of the upright is powerful and effective, even if you feel like your prayers barely limp off your lips.
Whether you need strength to do God’s work, or patiently suffer, lay hold on the might of the One who “gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Is 40.29-31).
photo by M.V. Jantzen