Daily Archives: January 6, 2022
1 John 5:1-5 (ESV)
Overcoming the World
5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV)
9 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. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
None of us likes to admit we are weak, after all weakness is contrary to the American ethos. Strength. That is the symbol of what it means to be a great person. This is engrained in us as early as we begin to learn the story of our heritage. To be certain, strength is an admirable virtue. However, strength that is not tempered with humility can quickly become arrogant and narcissistic.
I like to think I am strong. As a member of the military, I have been conditions to believe in strength. In fact, when I put on my uniform, I get this “attitude” that makes me feel like I am superman. This is how I have been trained, this is how I have been conditioned.
But when I look at myself in earnest, I am weak. I struggle with things that I am not proud of. Some days are better than others, but those other days are not the best. During those “other” days, the lure of the temptations are strong and can feel rather overwhelming.
When I read this passage in 2 Corinthians, it does my heart good. The reason? Here is the great pillar of the Christian faith, Paul, and he is talking about the very thing I struggle with. This was an apostle that was blessed in so many ways. In fact, preceding these verses, Paul speaks of a very supernatural experience that could have easily become a source of pride. However, instead, God gave Paul a “thorn” that obviously stuck with him the rest of his life. Did he pray for God to remove his thorn? Yes. But God wouldn’t.
Paul realized something that all of us need to: true Christian strength only is achieved in our weakness. Why? Our weaknesses make us realize our utter dependence on God. If I want to boast, I have one thing to boast about – God’s grace that works in my weakness, allowing me mercy to live each and every new day in him. I am weak, and I am glad. If I didn’t have weakness, I would never be able to realize how good God is. I, too, have prayed for God to remove my weakness, but the grace is that God gives me strength and carries me on. I have to remember my dependence is completely on God to help me live each and every day in a manner that brings glory and honor to him, not myself.