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From the Front Porch: Strength in Weakness

August 5, 2011 4 comments

Raphael's "School of Athens"

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Our culture places much emphasis on strength and power. The powerful and the strong control society. Those who have power command authority, respect and admiration from others.

Those of us who don’t have this type of power seek to be self-sufficient, which is another form of power that is highly regarded in an individualistic society. But what happens when troubles come and we feel that we have no strength or power to meet the challenge? What do we tell others who are experiencing periods of unemployment or underemployment in a troubled economy or difficulties in their most significant relationships?

The Apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthians, stated that “I came to you in weaknesss…with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that our faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power” (1 Co 2:4-5).

Now Paul was no dummy.  Steeped in Hebrew and Greek philosophy, Paul could argue with the best philosophers of his day. That was no small thing for a people like the Corinthians who prided themselves on the wisdom of the ancient Greek philosophers. Instead, he chose to show them the power of God’s love.

Now the power of God’s love makes absolutely no sense to philosophers. Who in the world would die to save others?  A truly powerful god wouldn’t need to do that. He would simply exert power over others. That’s what the Greeks thought. But, Paul argued, that is not how God rules over His Kingdom. Indeed, God is powerful in us when we are at our weakest point — when we give up our ability to make sense of things and trust in Him to lead us.

It is often at those moments in our lives that represent crossroads — when we are struggling to make sense of things — when God’s power is revealed most clearly in our lives.  Those moments of struggle and confusion are God’s opportunity to make us strong in Him and give us the perseverance and insight into our difficulties that will see us through to their resolution. Trusting in a greater power – the power of  God in us – is so much better than trying to break through the uncertainty on our own.

Surely, there is much to be said for human power and self-sufficiency, especially in a culture that lauds them both.  But in God’s economy, there is far more power in us when we are ready to rely on Him as our strength. Tap into that power in your life today.

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