Sunday, March 18, 2012

Out of Weakness Made Strong

And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak,

and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong,

waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

Hebrew 11:32-34

"There is so much more I would do for God if I were ..." and you fill in the blank. So often, God's people are stymied, dettered, even crippled in this thing we call faith. "I desire to walk closer with God, do more, do greater but I can't because of ...." and you fill in the blank.

There are two things in play here: the objective and the obstacle. Whatever the objective is, I want to focus on the obstacle.

The obstacle might be a past failure, a sin habit or simply some perceived inability. Whatever the obstacle, we can refer to it as our "weakness." We know our failures. We know what stands in our way. People spend thousands of dollars going to "motivation speakers" trying to figure out how to overcome their weakness. That may have some positive results but there always seems to be another "weakness" crop up that needs to be conquered. I have good news! Being a faithful, faith-filled Christian is not about being strong! Its about being weak!

Hebrews chapter 11 is often referred to as the "Hall of faith;" a chronicle of great people of God doing great things because of their great faith. But these are not great because of their faith. I read the names in this chapter and think, "great faith? Really? Abraham lied about his wife to Abimelek to keep from being killed. Moses killed an Egyptian and ran off in the desert for 40 years. Noah got drunk! David ran from his own son and hid. Gideon gave us the phrase, "putting out a fleece" because he did it repeatedly after God spoke to him. Now, before you think I'm judging, let me say these were all great men; not because they had great faith, but because they had faith in a great God! These were men of weakness and flesh just as we are. The key is not overcoming weakness, but rather what God did in it. Let me give you a few facts to help change your outlook.

God knows how weak we are.

For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.

Psalm 103:14

Our Creator deals with us as we are. We are fallen creatures. We have nothing to bring to the table and say, "Here ya go LORD! This is what You need to do great things!" No. We are dust. I know the positive thinkers won't like it, but we are nothing outside of the grace of God. He knows our weakness and He is o.k. with that! That IS good news!

Our weakness, not our strength, shows our faith.

My former Pastor, Dr. Bob Smith used to say, "If you can figure out a way to do it on your own, it's not faith. Faith is not the lack of doubt or weakness. Faith is when the doubtful and the weak act, trusting God. Four times in the Psalms, David the great fierce warrior prayed, "Help me." 15 times, he prayed, "save me." And four times in the Psalms he prayed, "hide me." Does that sound like a man without weakness. No. It sound like a man who has God as a source of strength. The father of a sick child came to Jesus asking for healing.

Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Mark 9:23,24

Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. To me, that is one of the most moving statements in Scripture! Isn't it great to know that there is help for our unbelief; that unbelief is a qualification and not a disqualification for crying out to God?

God relies on our weakness.

The Apostle Paul was used or the Holy Spirit to pen 13 books of the New Testament. He was highly educated. God used him in great ways. But Paul does not glory in his abilities. He glories in his weakness.

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations,

there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

1 Corinthians 12:7-9

God's strength is made perfect (completed) in our weakness. That is why Paul says, " Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." What good is an all powerful God if He has no one to for whom He can be strong. Where is He glorified in the lives of His children if we would "rather do it ourselves?"

You can have faith because you are weak.

Jesus said in Matthew chapter 6:25-30

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink;

nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns;

yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven,

shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

When I am convinced that I cannot do it, then I can more easily depend on Him. We find ourselves weak while trying to be strong. If we would lay our weakness before God the He becomes our strength and the Object of our faith.

You cannot understand faith unless you are weak.

Faith is depending on Him. You will not depend on anything else if your own strength is sufficient. The danger of our own strength is the inability to see our weakness for what it is. If I know I am weak then I know I need help. When I am weak, trusting God makes more since to me. That is when I know I must trust God. It is necessary to be weak to show my faith, because if I am weak, then I am compelled to lean on Him.

You cannot be saved unless you are weak.

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly

Romans 5:6

If you think you can be good enough, or religious enough, or generous enough to earn Heaven and the forgiveness of sins, you are sadly mistaken. Christ died on the cross to redeem us from sin's penalty. There is no other way to attain this thing we call salvation. We are too weak! If you have never trusted Christ as your personal Savior you must come to Him; not as a good person, or a church member or by some religion. We must turn to Him and Him alone for salvation. Have you trusted Christ as your Savior? Come to Him right now. Repent and confess your sin to Him. Pray trusting only Christ for forgiveness. Only in Christ will you find the strength to be free from sin's penalty. If you have any questions about this, e-mail me at

Thank you for reading