London Emmanuel Church has held the first Sunday Service of February delivering a message on 1 Corinthians 12:5-10 titled “For When I Am Weak Then I Am Strong”.
The path that Apostle Paul took involved many difficulties and trials. However, through the precious words that that Lord gave to him, he was able to be renewed to a completely new way of thinking and living.
“My grace is sufficient for you…For my power is made perfect in weakness.” These words had a profound affect on the apostle’s life. It is normal that when our weaknesses and insufficiencies are revealed so clearly to us we can fall into despair. We can grow anxious and weary because of our clear limitations.
However, even though the temptation comes to us to be ashamed of our weaknesses, and we want to hide them away and deny them, but Apostle Paul came to realise that his weaknesses and insufficiencies were not something to despair over. Rather it was through these very weaknesses that he was drawn to pray to God more, to seek His grace and mercy more, and to receive strength from above more in his life.
In this way, these frailties became the contact point – a meeting point through which he could come face to face with God even more closely.
Usually if one is very strong, more sufficient, and very capable, they tend not to seek God as much. It is easy to fall into this trap of relying on our own strength and abilities. But living in such a way where we neglect seeking strength from above, means the power of God cannot be revealed through that person as much.
Pastor explained that when our thoughts are renewed then we will realise our weaknesses are a hidden blessing for us. When we evangelise, share witness to others, and as we work in our ministries, every single one of us, no matter how strong or capable we are, there will be a limit to our own strength and abilities. There will come a point where we will feel our weaknesses being revealed and exposed all too clearly.
For many of us, the temptation to despair at our weak image at that point will be strong, and some will even start to self-torture. However, if we can renew our way of thinking, like Apostle Paul, then instead of falling down and shaking in our faith at that point, we will come to see the weaknesses we have are a blessing to us. They correct us, and they ensure we fix our eyes back on God alone, and seek His grace and love and power as we walk this path of faith. And so our weaknesses in fact become our greatest strength, and they become things we want to boast about – for they act as the contact point for us to meet God again.
The path of faith is one that can only be truly walked with a humble attitude. Many fool themselves, going years thinking they are walking the true path, only to later find they have been relying upon themselves and not on God.
With a heart of humility we must have the attitude that “I cannot do it. In me, alone, by myself, there is no way!” This realisation must come to all of us, urged Pastor. “We must each experience this turning point in our way of thinking.”
Pastor highlighted the example of the life of Moses. When he faced a great problem, he used the worldly method he had learned in the house of Pharaoh. But when he tried to solve things with his own power and strength, the history of God was delayed. He could not take hold of the commission God wanted to give him, and instead he had to flee to the desert.
But God trained him in the desert. For many years, as a shepherd, Moses learned the heart of humility. And he came to have this realisation that the true power and strength did not lay within him. But rather it came only from above – from his heavenly father.
When he had that realisation – at that point – Moses was able to fully take hold on the commission God had for him, and a great history of salvation could be opened up.
For us in this era too, we must come to the deep realisation that we cannot walk this path with our own strength. We must stop relying on ourselves, and then despairing when we come up short.
So first the important thing is realising and acknowledging that “I, myself, cannot do it.”
But it doesn’t just end there, said Pastor. Even though I cannot do it, but in the one whom I entrust everything I can do everything! In Him all things are possible! So next we must seek God more, yearn for His grace and mercy more, and find the strength in His love more.
“If we can have our faith ordered precisely in this way then everything will change,” said Pastor. “We must remember this is the path that God wants to walk WITH US. God is not the one who is disappointed or angry when your weaknesses are revealed, or when you lack the skills or strength to overcome. Didn’t He know all your weaknesses and insufficiencies even before you knew them yourself?”
“So remember, God does not see your weaknesses as flaws. He does not want you to give up, or be depressed because of you insufficiencies,” said Pastor. “Rather He will be the one to make all of our insufficiencies beautiful. He will make them into tools for you to come to meet Him more closely, and to receive something even greater from Him.”
He concluded, “If we can renew our way of thinking, then like Apostle Paul, we will be able to rejoice in the Lord always. We will boast all the more gladly about our weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest upon us. We will even delight in our weaknesses, hardships and difficulties – for when we are weak, then we are strong!”