For When I Am Weak….I Am Strong

Hi, there! The verse noted above from 2 Corinthians 12:10 is one of the most wonderful and reassuring truths in all of Scripture! Let’s look at a few examples that illustrate this so well.

– Jesus, in His human form, was Himself crucified out of “weakness” (2 Corinthians 13:4)….yet, look how strong He was and what He accomplished by the power of God, and is also now living by this same power.

– Paul says in the same verse that we are also “weak” with Him, but God’s power is likewise for us. Thank goodness God calls the “weak” and “foolish”!! (1 Corinthians 1:27, 4:10)

– Paul is also an excellent example of how God and Christ choose the weakest and the “less than the least of all saints” to become powerful and fruitful by the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 3:8)

The transliterated Greek word “astheneo” in this verse literally means: powerless, weak, sick, feeble and  needy. It not only refers to physical weaknesses (such as Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”, his bodily presence being “weak” and his speech “contemptible”….2 Corinthians 10:10) but to mental handicaps as well as emotional ones (for example, Peter’s fear from peer pressure at Antioch when he had to be confronted by Paul….Galatians 2:11-14).

– Paul recounts in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 how after asking God to remove his “thorn in the flesh” three times, God responded with “Sufficient for you is My grace, for MY POWER IS PERFECTED IN WEAKNESS (emphasis mine).”

Paul then goes on to say how he will not only delight in his physical infirmity but ” I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Paul adds in 2 Corinthians 11:30: “If I must boast, I will be boasting in that which is of my weakness.”

– Paul was made powerful and fruitful by God and Christ while he had his”infirmity” (weakness) in the flesh in Galatia. Galatians 4:13

– Paul was made powerful and fruitful by God and Christ among the Corinthians even though “in weakness and fear and much trembling”. 1 Corinthians 2:3

– 1 Corinthians 15:43 clearly indicates that our bodies are sown in weakness, and this we will have to contend with until  “it is raised in power” (same verse).

– Romans 8:26 says that we are weak even in our ability to pray properly, but also reveals how God, once again, steps in and provides for us: “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness ; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Please also reference the POST: “Dry Prayer And Monkey Chatter”)

I really like Galatians 4:27 as it pretty much sums up how God and Christ delight in enabling us to be powerful and fruitful in our weaknesses, disadvantages, infirmities, being desolate, lacking  in personal abilities, etc., etc. and etc.:

`Rejoice, O barren, who are not bearing; break forth and cry, you who are not travailing, because many [are] the children of the desolate — more than of her having the husband.’

Please reference the Post “Feel The POWER” to balance out this discussion concerning our weaknesses.

See you later,

Fred

Dry Prayer And Monkey Chatter

Hi, there!

We all have had those times in prayer when we felt like nothing was accomplished, and even felt somewhat guilty because of our seemingly fruitless effort. We couldn’t “get spiritual” in our frame of mind and/or there was that constant bombardment of unsolicited thoughts. This is abundantly true especially in the early stages of our Christian journey.

If we are persistent in a faithful walk, these problems will be taken care of by the Holy Spirit….not only in time, but at the present:

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness ; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words”. Romans 8:26

Even if we struggle often in prayer, rest assured that what is necessary and has to be said to the Father and Christ Jesus on our behalf is ALWAYS automatically taken care of by the Holy Spirit within us (again, Romans 8:26!!). Never feel as though you have to “perform” in any prescribed manner when praying formally or informally. The MOST IMPORTANT consideration here is that we are going to Them, however feeble our efforts may be.

And, Christ Jesus, Himself,  is ALWAYS there making intercession (“pleading”….Concordant Literal New Testament) on our behalf on every front. Romans 8:34

Let’s not forget Matthew 6:8: “for your Father does know those things that you have need of before your asking Him.”.

Finally, a prayer of thanksgiving is an excellent approach when coming before our Father and Christ Jesus. Just start thanking Them for any and everything that comes to mind….not only the “good stuff” they give us but for our least and worst trials, as well as our failures. Those failures should lead us to depend on Them more than ever!

Sometimes, as brought out in the Post on “God’s Silent Treatment”, it is good that we just come to Them in silence. If monkey chatter persists, usually repeating in our minds or verbally “Lord”, “Lord God”, “Father”, “Jesus” or similar words will keep the intrusive thoughts at bay.

And, your position in formal prayer should not be an issue: my favorite is lying in bed where I am very comfortable. (You might want to reference the Post “Pray On The Potty”)

The most important consideration is that we are coming to Them, giving Them our attention….as such, They and the Spirit within us will take care of the rest!

I would like to leave you with these words about prayer from Oswald Chambers that can be found at http://utmost.org/thinking-of-prayer-as-jesus-taught/, along with his other 364 daily entries. Here goes:

“The correct concept is to think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts. Our blood flows and our breathing continues “without ceasing”; we are not even conscious of it, but it never stops.

Prayer is not an exercise, it is the life of the saint. Beware of anything that stops the offering up of prayer. “Pray without ceasing…”— maintain the childlike habit of offering up prayer in your heart to God all the time.”

End of excerpt. The “pray without ceasing” quote came from 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

Later, in Christ,

Fred