We live in a world that is harsh… difficult… stressful… and full of adversity.
We have an Adversary (Satan) who is aware of the first and does all he can to heighten the second. The result for Christians is as found written in Acts 14:21-23…
When they had preached the gospel… they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.
“Through many tribulations…” Children go wayward and rebel. Interpersonal relationships are broken. Families go through dysfunction. Work environments deteriorate. Life is just plain hard. At some point, everyone would love to be somewhere else… in a place where there is no anxiety, frustration, worry, or stress. This is why it is recorded Jesus said…
Mark 6:31 Because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (NIV)
Mark 6:34 When (Jesus) went ashore He saw a great crowd, and He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And He began to teach them many things. (ESV)
Emotional, spiritual, and physical weakness is nothing new to the human condition. They increases for those who follow Christ. Consider Paul from 2 Corinthians 12:7-10…
To keep me from being too elated by the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Are you experiencing weakness? Struggles? Discouragement? If so, consider the following…
1. That is life, don’t be surprised (1 Peter 4:12 “Do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.”). Keep your eyes on Jesus’ soon return.
2. Make time to be alone with Jesus (Mark 6:31).
3. God knows what he is doing and is making you rely completely on Him (2 Cor 12:7-10).
4. The previous two points are best done through prayer and reading Scripture (Especially the Psalms).
5. The weakness God placed/allowed into your life is not about you… it’s about God’s glory to show the power of Christ (2 Cor 12:9-10A)