When I am Weak, He Is Strong

I wrote the below post in 2012 on Quiet Reflections and it’s received almost 20,000 hits so I thought I would repost it here. It’s a message that I often need reminding of and I am sure we all do. I currently find myself in a place, due to a concussion, unable to concentrate, read, or bare loud sounds or bright lights so I am clinging to these truths anew. For my Savior is strong when I am weak.

Have you ever had those days when you are just tired?Tired of fighting the flesh? Tired of trying to be who you are suppose to be? Tired of fighting the lies of the enemy?Tired of fighting wrong emotions and feelings?

It’s where I have been for a couple days now. My emotions are just all over the place. Sometimes I can allow my feelings, thoughts and life seem like a tangled mess.

And try as I might I just can’t seem to untangle the mess of emotions. It’s exhausting trying to sort out what I am suppose to feel, what is normal, what is not.

kittenmessI am suppose to be a big girl and have all this figured out. Right? Or is that another lie? Am I suppose to ask for help? But who do I ask? Who would understand? Who would really be available to sit and listen? And NOT think I was totally losing it! Who could I talk to that would know it’s just a moment. They would give me grace and allow me a few minutes to talk out loud and then I’ll be fine.

Currently, the lies in my head say I have no one. No one that is but Jesus. (I do KNOW deep in my heart that this is another lie. Our emotions often DO lie to us!) But still I wonder, shouldn’t Jesus be enough? I mean, He IS enough. He IS all I need. He’s the only one I am suppose to really need. Right?

Why then does this place feel like a place of such loneliness? Is this yet another lie? Another attempt of the enemy to try and wedge discontent between me and my God? To create a distance between me and those God has placed in my life to journey with?

It all makes me tired and it’s exhausting….and I just want to go home. To my Father.

I am tired of the enemies constant knocking on the door of my mind.

Then it hits me…

The selfishness of the flesh that cries out to be noticed, to be fed. Yes I am weary of the constant onslaught of what seems like the constant battles of my mind. Wrong thinking. Emotions that want to be given into. Emotions that cry out to be felt. But they are lies that FEEL like truth.

I am weary because for this moment I have forgotten. I have forgotten truth. The truth that I know, believe and trust in.

I do not fight alone.

I have forgotten to be diligent about putting on the armor of God so that I can fight against the powers of this dark world. The evil forces of this world do not let up, they desire to destroy me.

I have forgotten that I need to stand firm with the belt of truth buckled tightly around my waist. Never should I be without it.

I have forgotten that I am to take my shield of faith up daily against the flaming arrows of the evil one.

I have forgotten that I do not fight alone but in the power of the Lord and in His mighty power.

I have forgotten that when I am weak HE IS strong. I can run to Him and find rest, even in the midst of my struggles.

Paul reminds the Ephesians in chapter 6 that they are in a battle. They are to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. He tells them that in order to take a stand against the devils schemes they need the armor of God. They need to stand firm, be alert, and always praying.

I need the armor of God. I need to pray. I need to stand strong in His mighty power.

And then in Paul’s final sentences he tells the Ephesians that he is going to send Tychicus so that they might be encouraged. Don’t you love it?

Paul reminds them that yes, they ARE to stand firm, they ARE to wear the armor of God, they ARE to be alert and pray BUT he knows they also need the encouragement of others.

We need our brothers and sisters who can come along and encourage us when we become battle weary. To strengthen us and pray with and for us.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor 12:9-10

Oh precious Father, thank you for these words of reminder. Thank you for helping me through this moment. Father forgive me for my forgetfulness and selfishness. Help me to lean on You and allow You to bring other’s into my life to encourage me. Help me to remember I don’t always have to be strong, have it all together or be perfect. For in my weaknesses You can show Your strength, Your power and Your grace.

(Note: I actually wrote this weeks ago and never posted it. But I want to be transparent, knowing that we all have the same crazy emotions at times. But we must not stay there and allow the enemy or our flesh to take us to a place that causes us to sink further into a pit. We must run to the Word of truth, Pray, and seek out one another for encouragement when we just can’t seem to hear the truth on our own. So if you find yourself currently in a pit you can’t get of feel free to email me!)

Advertisements

Seasons of Change

 

seasonsChange. It’s apart of life. Change comes whether we desire it or not. There are times we long for it, and yet other times we beg for things to stay the same.

Change can bring heartache, but it can also bring joy.

As I reflect over the last 50 plus years I recount all the seasons of change in my life.

There have been times of Spring when my life seemed to be a time of awakening. A sense of newness. Freshness. I love spring when things that once seemed dead begin to come to life again.

Times of Summer when there was much joy, sunshine and laughter. A time of soaking in all the blessing in my life. The blessings of creating memories with family and friends.

Then there have been times things seemed to begin to die. In the dying I could see such beautiful colors of my life. I think the seasons of autumn are times of great change. Hard changes. Beautiful changes. Those changes that need to be in order to grow.

Nothing though is as hard as the seasons in my life that were dead, cold and bitter. Winter is always the hardest. With very little sunshine, warmth or visible signs of life. These are the times I have felt I would just die. Times when it seemed I was forgotten, alone and left for dead inside.

But what I didn’t know during much of the time spent in winter is that inside, deep inside, everything was growing, changing and preparing to break forth into something new. Something beautiful.

The seasons of our lives come and go. Each one brings changes. As I look back I realize I have survived many changes. I have endured many seasons.

As I sit before the Lord today and reflect over my life I am fully aware that change is coming. Again. The beauty of it is that every season before hand has prepared me for the season I am about to enter. God never takes us through a change without preparing us before hand.

I feel it, God is working and the season is about to change. I wonder, what season we are about to enter? I wonder where we are going? What is God doing?

I have been living through winter and unlike the seasons of the earth life seasons do not always follow a certain order. So I don’t know what season is coming but it matters not, for as I look back I KNOW, that God is always there working in me, changing me, molding me, refining me to be more like Him.

What about you? Think back over the seasons of your life. Do you see God in each of them? Do you see the changes He created? Can you rejoice in each season of change? Even the winters?

Our God is good in all things. He is good to us, His children. When we look for the blessings in each season we also find great joy.

Can I Have Joy in Trials?

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

I remember a time when I had questions about having joy. How can one have joy in the hard things in life? How do you walk through life with great joy regardless of your circumstances. I didn’t understand. There are those that tried to explain it to me, but my mind seemed blind to understanding.

ID-10091345_thumb.jpgI would always ask “how does one have joy when a father dies and leaves his 24 year old wife with 3 babies under the age of five? Where is the joy of watching your mother try to destroy herself? Or a child being abused? How can you have joy as you watch a father beat your mother? Or watching a child rebel? How can you have joy when a husband looses his job?” So many questions.

Many of the answers I received to my questions were along the line of “it’s because sin is in the world “ “you just have to get beyond those things, forget them and move on” forgive those who hurt you”. I remember some saying that “I needed to forgive God”

Really? As if God has ever done anything that needed to be forgiven! Where is that in scripture? It’s sad to recall all the well meaning answers and advice that is not based on truth, or bits and pieces of truth. So what is the answer to having joy under trials, temptations, distress, stress and so on?

Here is what I have learned. This is what I know. While I have nothing new to say I have realized that often I forget what the past has taught me. I need to be reminded. Maybe you need the reminder too.

What we fail to understand  is that it is impossible to have joy in your suffering. There is nothing joyful about suffering, pain, sorrow, distresses or tribulations. We was try to find joy IN our current circumstances. The object of our joy is all wrong. Nothing about the tribulation or suffering itself can produce joy.

I CAN NOT produce joy on my own. Oh I can put on a happy face, look all bubbly on the outside and TRY to look joyful. But that is not joy and it WILL NOT last.

The object of my joy must be God, and God alone. God, a covenant keeping God and Father in Christ. I need to look to the God of my salvation. I need to remember that He is Christ, the One who pardons iniquity, transgression, and sin.

He, GOD, is the object of my joy.

Joy can never be produced by me or by my circumstances. Joy is the product of the Spirit and it lies in the spiritual. Now, so there is no misunderstanding, I am not talking about the joy I felt on my wedding day or the day a child is born or something good happened. I am addressing the joy I am to have that is mentioned in James 1:2 when it says,  “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,”

What I am talking about is that deep sense of joy knowing that no matter what comes your way you KNOW you will walk through it. You know that it will not destroy you. We can have joy because our focus is not us (ME) at all. Our focus is God.

During trials and suffering we are to look to Him and what we know He is going to do. He is a covenant keeping God and I know that He does not seek to destroy us but seeks to grow and mature us into His image. We must focus on that truth and trust Him.

We can also have joy in trials when we consider who God is. He is a covenant God, the Father of great mercy, the God of all comfort and salvation, who pardoned our sins, clothes us with the robes of righteousness and garments of salvation, and accepts us in Christ. When I choose to focus on the character of God and be mindful of truth I can have great joy and gladness. In Christ there is always a reason for joy because of His person, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice.

God is not asking us to be joyful that we are suffering. He is asking us to be joyful in knowing that He is testing our faith in order to produce endurance. We need to allow God to grow us with all joy. He assures us that when our endurance is fully developed we will be strong in character and ready for whatever God has planned.

Joy is a product of the Spirit of God not our circumstances.

Photo courtesy of magerymajestic, at www.freedigitalphotos.net