SHILOH MESSENGER - May 2024
















STRENGTH FOUND IN WEAKNESS

I thank Him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord… 1 Timothy 1:12

As followers of Jesus, it’s easy to see the culture around us growing increasingly indifferent to the virtues and values we are called to reflect in our lives. Forgiveness, humility, the sanctity of life, loving and praying for our enemies have all become anomalies in the vast landscape of the American kingdom. At first glance, these pillars of our faith seem to be weakening under the weight of a society smitten with self-indulgence, relative truth, consumption and a growing hostility towards Almighty God. Yet, the words of Christ in John’s gospel free us out from under the world’s heaviness, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

The past tense of the phrase “have overcome” reinforces our understanding that the battles we endure are already secured in Christ’s victory. Considering the fight has been won on our behalf should lend us to turn our carnal arsenals into plowshares (Isaiah 2:4). This is difficult for us to grasp in the throes of disappointment or tragedy. We often look to ourselves, our own strength and wit to overcome hostility, crisis, and inconvenience. However, the Bride of Christ is not meant to carry the scepter but to lean on the One who does. When the culture rears its teeth at the Church, at our families, at our very lives, or even when expectations fall short and injustice prevails, we tend to draw our swords as Peter did in the Garden of Gethsemane and go for the ears! But the sword we are called to wield isn’t swung in our physical might or intellectual prowess. Our warfare is waged from a posture of humility and dare I say, weakness.

The Apostle Paul spoke of the Spiritual armor we wear. He said the weapons of our warfare are not of this world but given through God. He also assured us that we are only clay jars, jagged and brittle, but full of a treasure whose power belongs to God. These are humbling truths in the face of a world that tells us to kick back hard against adversity. Recognizing the weakness of our flesh will keep us from responding with our flesh towards a fallen society where getting even and returning evil with evil rules. Humility and kindness shake a bigger stick than striving to prove ourselves right or having the last word. In the letter to the Romans Paul calls it “heaping burning coals on the head.” Jesus talked about it this way, “You have heard it said ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you do not resist the one who is evil. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:38-39)

How did Jesus overcome the world which He created and whereby He was also rejected and despised? If we strip it down to its bare bones, we are confronted with a riveting and wondrous reality. The late Pastor Tim Keller once put it this way: “Where is Christ’s power and strength supremely seen? At the cross, postured in unsurpassed weakness, humility and abandonment.” Jesus overcame humanity’s greatest adversary through surrender, by laying down and giving Himself away. Through that selfless act of weakness and humility, He was raised with all authority under heaven and ascended as our triumphant Lord and King. Let us pray the Holy Spirit empowers us to boast in our weakness that we may perpetually be found in the likeness of our Savior as a witness to those who’ve yet to meet Him

“‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness that the power of Christ may rest upon me,” 2 Corinthians 12:9

 


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