Sunday, April 18, 2010

Strength in weakness through Christ . . . appearing strong vs. being weak

"So many things about you annoy me. . . .You appear to be strong but you really aren't. You are weak. I need a strong man."

Such were the words spoken to me recently by a, sadly, now ex-real time and ex-Facebook friend here in Jerusalem.

I will spare the reader of the other comments made about my alledged pride, self-pity, brainwashing ability, talkativeness and other non-glorifying-to-God behavior and character.

May the words spoken produce a spiritually poor and broken spirit in me.

"But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite/broken spirit, and who trembles at My word" (Isaiah 66:2).

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3).

Upon reflection--and with my Bible-based masculinity intact--I praise the Lord for such a comment, one that I hope is and will always be true as I continue on my Christian pilgrimage of faith.

Yes, I privately and publicly confess that I am a very, very weak and desperate man in need of and dependent upon God's grace moment-by-moment and for everything, be it the constant fight against sin and temptation, wisdom in decision-making and relationships, desire to pursue and love God and not the lies of this materialistic and sin-loving world, courage to face reality and obstacles, guidance in writing a book or preparing a sermon, and even the motivation to get out of bed each morning.

It has been a glorious and adventurous 17.5 years since I began being a weak man and finding my strength in Someone much more stronger and powerful than me, namely, the God-Man and Jewish Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I can do everything through [Christ] who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:19

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Ephesians 6:10

[The] joy of the Lord is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:10
Here are some verses from the New Testament (NIV) on weakness for my fellow striving uncommon Christians:
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.
Matthew 26:41 (Mark 14:38)

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
Romans 8:26

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
1 Corinthians 1:26-29

I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. . . . We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! . . . . To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.
1 Corinthians 2:3, 4:10, 9:22 (Apostle Paul)

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. . . . I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. . . . Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take [the thorn in my flesh] away from me. But [Christ] 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 11:30, 12:5, 12:8-10 (Apostle Paul)

[Christ] is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God's power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God's power we will live with him to serve you. . . . We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is for your perfection.
2 Corinthians 13:3b-4, 13:9

For we do not have a high priest [the Lord Jesus Christ] who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.
Hebrews 4:15

[Those who walked by faith] whose weakness was turned to strength.
Hebrews 11:34

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