In the past few years, as I have been more aware of my human weakness and inadequacy for real, I have been encouraged by GOD’s promises that He loves to show how strong He is when we are weak! I memorized those verses over the years too, but they didn’t hit me until the past few years when I was pushed into dark corners and didn’t know what to do or where to go. GOD met my need at the time. It seems that it isn’t until we are in those dark places of need that we finally grab onto Him for strength.
Remember the past
In the Old Testament, He showed His strength as He protected His people when they were outnumbered. Remember Jericho when instead of fighting, He had them walk around the city and on the last day, they did it 7 times and blew their trumpets! The walls to the city fell down. Then they fought and killed the enemy…and won that battle.
Another time, GOD told Gideon the army was too big. He used a number of ways to sort out His military men from the group that were there the first day. But as He culled the group down, it was finally down to 300 men! They were way outnumbered! There was no way they could win against Midian on their own! But they went out to fight against Midian. As it turned out, by the time they had crashed the pitchers and held up the torches, GOD had already beat the Midianites! They were taken by surprise and once again, GOD gave Israel the victory against a much larger army.
There are many stories of GOD working like that in the Old Testament where He brought His strength to their weakness.
Of course, the New Testament doesn’t spell it out in stories as clearly as that, but think about the weakness and smallness of the group that was left behind after Jesus returned to heaven. He left 11 apostles. They certainly hadn’t shown themselves to be brave or strong during the week leading up to the cross!
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But He also worked in the New Testament too!
But something happened after the Resurrection as they began to understand more about why Jesus had come. And with the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they seemed to come alive! They became bold in the face of persecution. Who knew? The Holy Spirit was changing them from within.
The truth of Paul’s words proved truer than ever.
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,
a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.
But he 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.
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.
II Corinthians 12:7-10 ESV
A passage in the Old Testament puts it this way.
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He 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.Isaiah 40:28-31 ESV