Thursday, July 31, 2008

Strength for Weakness

“If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:30

“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.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:9

“God accepts our prayers, though weak, because we are His own children, and they come from his own Spirit; because they are according to his own will; and because they are offered in Christ’s mediation, and he takes them, and mingles them with his own incense.”
- Richard Sibbes, The Bruised Reed, p. 51

“A weak Christian and a strong Christ shall be able to do all.”
- Samuel Bolton, The True Bounds of Christian Freedom, p. 41

Dear Christ Our Redeemer Family and Friends,

Christians are people of great weakness. At the end of the day we are plagued by insufficiency, inability, inefficiency, and weakness. As I think about all of the responsibilities of church planting and being a faithful pastor I realize I am incredibly weak. As I think about being an effective father and husband I am aware of terrible shortcoming and weakness. At times I realize my prayers are weak, my zeal is often flagging, my love for the Word is lacking, my care for the lost is tepid, and my love for Christ’s church is not what it should be. At every point I need a strong Savior, mighty to save and mighty to fill every lack for my weakness. Often I ask myself, who is sufficient for these things? The amazing thing is God delights to graciously show Himself strong in our weakness. When discouragement seems to overwhelm me and when my strength is at its lowest ebb, God desires to show Himself mighty. I take courage from other saints that have found themselves to be weak and have found God to supply sufficient grace and strength. It is amazing to see the perspective the testimony of others brings. This week I was reading Jonathan Edwards’ account of David Brainard in John Piper’s, The Hidden Smile of God. Brainard was a missionary to Massachusetts Indians. As a very young man he was zealous to bring the gospel to these people, and at the same time he was dying of tuberculosis. I haven’t read about Brainard for a while, but I remember reading his diary years ago and being moved to tears. In great weakness God provided Brainard with incredible strength and zeal and resolve. As an encouragement, just when you think you’ve reached the end of your rope, read Brainard’s diary. You will see grace given for incredible weakness. I’m afraid that often we give up too soon and we don’t see the strength that God provides for our weakness. The reason for this is to show the incomprehensible power of our mighty God on our behalf. He delights to placard His power and strength in our weakness, so that He is made glorious. We may boast in our weakness, but we’ll boast the more in His overwhelming sufficiency and power.

Grateful for God’s grace and strength for my weakness,


1 comment:

o1mnikent said...

Hi Dan,
I thought you might be interested in in a few titles newly available from Logos Bible Software: The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter (23 Vols.), The Works of Richard Sibbes (7 Vols.), and The Works of Jonathan Edwards (2 Vols.). And we're adding more Puritans and Reformed theologians all the time!