If you are reading this post, there is one thing I can tell you about yourself without knowing anything about you. With a reasonable amount of cerainty, I know that you have a struggle. Not just any struggle, but one that plagues you perpetually like an opponent that just won’t fall. The struggle that I’m referring to is the one that keeps reappearing at the most inopportune times, just to fight against all of your best laid plans and your most optomistic motivations. Whether it’s persistent illness, addiction, a problematic personality flaw, a criminal record…(and the list goes on); these things can make us lose confidence and self-esteem.
But wait…NOT SO FAST!
Before you tap out and throw in the towel, I’d like to submit to you a profound truth. One that comes from an authority much higher than all of us. Consider this:
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
In essence, your struggle activates the perfect strength and ability of God, but only when you learn how to tap into it properly.
God is proactive, not reactive. In other words, nothing about you shocks or intimidates Him. He knows everything, and I do mean everything, about you. He knows all of your sins, struggles, and shortcomings (past, present, and future). He knows the decisions you will make and your motives behind those decisions. He has even made provisions for you when you stray away from Him. In fact, God has invested His most precious commodity in you…the Blood of Jesus His Son. He did it because of your sins, and He is “banking” on your struggle becuase in your struggle is where He receives the R.O.I. (Return On Investment) from your life. That return on investment is called GLORY.
Right in the middle of your weakness and your struggle, God’s grace is standing by ready, willing, and able to make tremendous power available to you through the Holy Spirit. The sooner you humble yourself, acknowledge God’s power, and receive His grace, that is when you qualify for more grace.
“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:7)
God’s Glory Revealed
I have been ruminating a very interesting question. As a matter of fact, that question combined with a powerful message entitled, “An Incredible Invitation,” taught by Pastor Shomari White (Senior Pastor of Have Life Church in Charlotte, NC), gave birth to this post. Consider this:
Why didn’t God heal Moses of his speech impediment at the burning bush? (Exodus 3)
We all know that God could have just touched Moses’ mouth like He did when He called Isaiah (Isaiah 6). But He didn’t. Instead, when Moses brought it up, God’s response was:
Now therefore go, I will be with thy mouth and teach thee what thou must say. (Exodus 4:12)
Of course those who are familiar with the account know that He did allow Aaron to accompany Moses, but that was not God’s ideal plan. Upon closer scrutiny, I realized that this wasn’t the only time God refused to be moved by a person’s weakness. Let’s take a look at Paul and his infamous “thorn in the flesh.” I believe it is by design that no one really knows for certain what Paul’s “thorn” was, because it is indicative of our “thorns.” It’s not labeled specifically in the Bible, so that we all can label it ourseleves, and know that just like God’s grace was sufficient for Paul; His grace is certainly sufficient for us. Some may say that Paul’s thorn was not significant, but I beg to differ. It was significant enough for Paul to talk to God about it three times. Eventually, God answered Paul’s request to remove it and take the thorn away by saying:
My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Finally, let’s take a look at Jesus, who was God incarnate. One day as Jesus was heavily involved in his travelling ministry, he received a message that Lazarus, one of his good friends, who lived in Bethany, was sick and close to dying. At that point you would imagine Jesus and his crew would have packed up and started the trip to Bethany. Instead, Jesus took his time getting there. Needless to say, his friend Lazarus died, and by the time he got to Bethany, Lazarus was four days in the grave. Upon Jesus’ arrival, he was met with statements of disappointment from the grieving sisters of Lazarus (Mary and Martha) as they approached him and said, “If you had been here, our brother would not have died.” I love Jesus’ response to their folly:
“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” (John 11:25)
Then, he proceeded to call Lazarus forth from the dead.
Fight the Right Fight
Many times the message of grace is misconstrued and misunderstood by the masses. People filter the message through perverted, itching ears, thereby disseminating wrong information. In no way am I saying you should just lay down and succumb to your weaknesses. When your struggle ceases to be a struggle, then it’s time for a reality check. You’re a soldier and your battle is in the arena of your mind. That’s where the battle is either won or lost. The skirmish between flesh and spirit is a heated one at times, but we have been guaranteed victory through the name of Jesus. Paul said it best:
“I keep under my body and bring it into subjection…” (1 Corinthians 9:27)
The friction that comes from this fight within us produces the spark that sets our lives on fire for Christ. As we humble ourselves, acknowledge God, and fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12), we open the gateway for God’s grace and glory to flood our lives and shine through us. God’s grace works best in the presence of our frailty, and shines brightest in the dungeons of our deepest struggle, if we choose to acknowledge Him. This is why Jesus came clothed in grace and truth, so that we may behold the perfection of his person. Christ carried the burden of perfection so that we wouldn’t be required to.
I encourage you to speak faith. Say what God has already declared about you ,and let this be your confession:
“For when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2Corinthians 12:10)
Now go forth, and expect to see God’s glory revealed in your life today.
Acknowledgements: I would like to thank Pastor Shomari White, Senior Pastor of Have Life Church (Charlotte, NC ) for allowing me to reference his inspirational words in this post. Thank you for living a life that demonstrates the power of the Holy Spirit. You are truly an inspiration to me.
As always, thank you for visiting Wisdom’s Quill. See you soon.