Yesterday at church, a friend of mine gave a message about knowing God's grace in the midst of trial. And, last week, the message at Bible Study was about knowing joy in the midst of struggle. It feels like this message has been one of the main things that the Lord has been speaking to me lately, which makes me starts to think, "Lord, what's coming?!" And, of course, the enemy would love nothing better than to make me sit in fear and worry about what struggle might be waiting around the corner. As one who has struggled with fearing what hardships my future may hold, this can be pretty tempting.
I love how in 2 Cor. Paul tells how tempted he is to trust in his own strength. I think if we were really honest, most of us would say that it is much easier to trust in our own strength, and to know that we can handle the things of this world on our own shoulders. That when trials or suffering comes, to just believe in our selves and our own strength. To remind ourselves that we're strong, and capable, and able to make it. But the truth is, that He doesn't want us to do it alone. That he said to Paul, the most capable, talented, and knowledgeable man of God,
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9)
He doesn't want us to handle life on our own, or try to muster up the strength to make it through. He wants us to become weak, and in our place of desperation and need, to see how sufficient His grace is for us. How His power is made perfect in our weakness. He did not shed His blood and lay down His life so that we could walk this life alone, but that in all things, ALL THINGS, we would know...
"the secret of being content in any and EVERY situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who GIVES ME STRENGTH." (Philippians 4:12)
It frees me from worrying about the future. What trials or hardships I or those I love might face. Or from hoping and praying to not have struggles or pain. The secret is not to avoid pain and suffering. Nor is the secret learning that we can do everything on our own. The secret is to allow ourselves to be made weak, and to surrender to His strength, His power, and His love. I pray that whatever you're in the midst of, that you would know His strength, and that you would allow His power to be made perfect in your weakness. Only then, are we truly strong.