Strength In Weakness

I have been thoroughly enjoying my daily devotional of choice this year – Faith Alone, by Martin Luther. I always had this image of Luther as this staunch little refrigerator of a man. He may have been small in stature but not in spirit. He was very strong because he was very weak. We too will appear and demonstrate a weakness that will cause others to run roughshod over us. The world thinks that because you do not fight with weapons of this world we are weaklings, yet it is “not by power or might but by My Spirit” that we are strong.

You will also note that the sons of God though appearing weak are often in truth meek. They have strength under control. Consider Jesus, Paul, Peter, Luther and God Himself that though many think He is slack in His coming is only keeping His power under extreme control. Anyone can let go an exhibit of uncontrollable anger and power, children of the world do it every day. It takes a person of maturity and strength to keep anger and power under control, great power, not weakness. It is in this “weakness“ that we are strong.

Martin Luther put it this way in today’s devotional:

“Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.” John 7:14.

Jesus travelled to the festival secretly. This made his opponents proud. But Jesus was obedient to God and wasn’t afraid of their defiance. He didn’t merely go to Jerusalem; he went to the middle of the temple. This was the place where his worst enemies, the priests and Pharisees, had great power and ruled. Setting aside all fear, Christ took them on at their own game. He didn’t ask if it was okay with them if he could preach. He ignored their religious authority and civil status and didn’t ask for permission. Instead, he entered the temple with enthusiasm and spiritual power and began to teach. Christ didn’t ask, “Mr. Annas, Mr. Caiaphas, do you mind if I preach?” Instead, he took over the priestly ministry for himself. He was very brave to walk up right before their eyes. Earlier they had challenged him and called him afraid and timid. Now they had to stand there and listen to him preach.

John describes this event for our comfort. No one should become worried when God allows himself to appear weak while the world boasts and struts around. The same is true for all Christians, especially preachers. They are often weak and timid while their powerful adversaries stomp their feet and threaten. This is nothing new. We have to get used to it. It doesn’t happen only to us. It happened to all the prophets and apostles. They appeared weak compared to their oppressors. Yet it was in their weakness that they were strongest. — ML