As sinful and fallen people we hate the feeling of weakness. On the other hand, we love feelings of strength, dominance, control, power and independence. But the reality is, that as creatures of the One who “gives all men life, breath and everything else” (Acts 17:25) all of our perceived experiences of strength and power are derived and not autonomous. As Nebuchadnezzar poignantly learned, God “does what he pleases with the powers of heaven” (Daniel 4:35).
The truth is we have and are nothing without the active and gracious involvement of God, for he “sustains all things by his powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3). He freely chooses to “bring one down and exalt another” (Psalms 75:7). In other words, we are all inherently weak! We have no independent power or intrinsic strength. And in the normal course of life we periodically get a taste of that reality. There are times when we painfully feel the reality of our weakness. The Bible says it is then when we are prepared to experience the transcendent strength of our God. For when we recognize and ask the true source of power, then he “gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (Isaiah 40:29).
As Paul learned in his episodes of palpable weakness, “when I am weak, I am strong” for God grants strength to those who trust him for it (2 Corinthians 12:10). So let’s get honest and be willing to “boast all the more gladly about [our] weakness so that Christ’s power may rest on [us]” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
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We live in a world that is hostile to God, yet we must learn to engage our culture without being spiritually destroyed by it. Learn from the life of Daniel how to live faithfully in a culture that perceives our light as darkness. Request the book The Church in Babylon by Erwin Lutzer with your generous donation this month.