(2 COR. 12:10)

This statement is something called a paradox. That is, it appears to be a contradiction in itself, yet it is true. Think of your own situation as you read.

When Paul was in prison in Philippi with Silas, he had no means of escape or comfort by his own power. Yet he and Silas prayed and sang hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. They were weak, yet their faith was strong, and the Lord delivered them. This was being "strong in the Lord and in the glory of His might." When Paul was at sea, tossed about in a terrible storm for two weeks, he was powerless, on his own, against the forces of nature. But he trusted in God and was made strong, helping his fellow travelers to reach shore safely by the grace of God. As he struggled with his "thorn in the flesh" and besought the Lord three times to be freed from it, the Lord's response was, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Paul could face infirmities, reproaches, needs, persecutions, and distresses with good courage, for the strength of Christ was most evident in these times of personal weakness. It was in this context that he said, "For when I am weak, then I am strong."

We are supported as Christians by the same Lord. Who is our strength as well. When we are beset by needs of a physical nature, faith can give us strength to endure as we remember His words, "I will in no wise leave thee nor forsake thee." When our health fails, and the world seems to crumble aroung us, we are weak indeed, but the assurance of the Lord can lift us up and make us strong even as we face death itself. "I will raise him up in the last day", the Lord has promised. We are "more than conquerors" through Him. When sorrows assail us and we feel despair, we have no strength to deliver ourselves, but His Word provides comfort and strength through faith. "Wherefore, comfort one another with these words." When we in our humility realize how little we know and how weak our wisdom and understanding is, then the wisdom and knowledge of God can be our strength as we follow Him.

As we look at the sad plight of the world around us, and as we consider the woes that beset the church today, we may have an overwhelming sense of helplessness, and wonder what we can do. Then we can be strong throught faith. We can remember Elijah and his limited vision, and know that the Lord sees the true picture, and that things may not be as dark as we suppose. We can heed His instruction to tbe faithful and diligent in service and know that God gives the increase. By earnestness in prayer and diligence in labor, with the armor of God to sustain us, we can be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.

Therefore, let us not faint, but let us rouse ourselves from our slumber, and work while it is day. Let us nourish ourselves with the good Word of God and go forward in renewed strength and determination.

By Gilbert Alexander.

Return to the General Articles page

Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /