An Inspirational Message for the Month of June 2024 – Glorifying God in our Weakness – By Charles Schokman

An Inspirational Message for the Month of June 2024 – Glorifying God in our Weakness – By Charles Schokman

An Inspirational Message for the Month of June 2024 - Glorifying God in our Weakness - By Charles Schokman

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“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” Ps.90:12

I am getting older. I know that isn’t a surprise to anyone. We all wake each morning another day older than the day before. However, I am now in those maturing years that often bring with them aches, pains and some more serious challenges that begin to impact our lifestyle and our ability to do things that were once easy and enjoyable. I don’t know the number of days God has ordained for me, but this I do know, I have a much greater desire to apply my heart to wisdom now than I did when I was younger! Perhaps that longing grows in proportion to lessons learned and experiences lived throughout the days already spent. Or, maybe it’s just the slower pace of life, giving me more still time to think, consider and focus on what matters most.

Whatever the reason, I find myself sifting through the memories of my life, trying to capture all the ‘wisdom lessons’ the Lord has been teaching me while anticipating those still to come. I consider my life rather ordinary, yet I am amazed as I look back through the wealth of opportunities, people, places and life (in all its variety) the Lord has given me the privilege of experiencing. Not only has He blessed me with far more than I could ever have imagined, He has lovingly prepared for me things that would cause me to grow, change and become more of what He desires me to be. I must confess, I haven’t always appreciated, understood or welcomed these stretching gifts. Many did not seem like ‘good gifts’ at the time but, in hindsight, I realize they are actually my greatest source of wisdom lesson material. Much like intensive crash courses, under the guidance and enabling of the Holy Spirit, they challenge, refine and mature me. They are working in me what is needed though often lead me along pathways I would not have chosen – and these courses will continue until I am safely home with the Lord. I am actually working through one such course at the moment which is challenging me to honestly delight in my weaknesses. I may know the theory in my head, and sometimes in my heart, but I still have some way to go in making it my faithful first response. I admit there are some days when the only response I seem able to give is thankfulness for God’s precious release valve: the gift of tears.

The Apostle Paul’s testimony in 2 Corinthians 11 and 12 is certainly the ‘go to’ text on this subject of delighting in weakness. In 2 Cor 11:23b-28 he shares an incredible list of situations and circumstances the Lord allowed him to go through on his physical and spiritual journey. I’m sure Paul spent much time talking with the Lord and seeking His wisdom and strength for those tortuous trials, but there was one coming that would bring him to his knees, pleading with the Lord to take it away. In 2 Cor 12:7-10 we read these familiar words: “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, (referring to the privilege he had of being caught up to Paradise) there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”

This is followed by a profound response from Paul; “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

If we look back to 1 Cor 15:58, we find another statement by Paul to the Corinthians, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.” I really like J.B. Phillips rendition of this verse which says, “And so, stand firm! Let nothing move you as you busy yourselves in the Lord’s work. Be sure that nothing you do for Him is ever lost or ever wasted.” I can’t help but wonder if Paul was thinking of those words he had penned earlier when he declared, “I will boast about my weaknesses” or when he said, “for Christ’s sake I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions and in difficulties”, or again as he proclaimed, “when I am weak, then I am strong”.

I have been reminded that giving ourselves fully to the work of the Lord or being busy in the Lord’s service is not limited to those commitments and activities we are involved in at church or through other ministries and organisations. Although they are certainly labours in and for the Lord, we need to remember that every aspect of our life should be lived in service for the Lord and for His glory. That includes the way we live for Him and respond through the hard times, the struggles, sorrows, changes and challenges of our days.

There are two clear statements in these verses that I, that we, need to understand and accept. The first is the Lord’s assurance to Paul, and through him to all believers, that His grace is sufficient and that His power is perfected in our weakness. Our Lord’s grace and power are, and always will be enough for us and will accomplish His perfect purposes in and through us. As we continue to love the Lord, rely on the Holy Spirit, trust God’s word and know His peace in the difficult and uncertain times of life, we will be changed and God will be glorified. Paul’s words “…when I am weak, then I am strong” proclaim the truth of God’s power and sufficiency no matter where we are and what we are doing. Through these days that continue to hold challenges, and in the circumstances that summon the gift of tears, I want my honest response to be delight in the knowledge that in God’s economy nothing, absolutely nothing is ever wasted.

Courtesy of Lisa Watsom– NewLife Faith.


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