Weakness Made Strong in Christ :: by John Lysaught

Don’t we all want to appear strong mentally? I mean, we don’t want to show weakness to others. This starts when we are kids, old enough to understand mom or dad telling us the boo-boo we received was not that bad and no need to cry, or as I always told my kids: “Tough it out!” Then as we transition to school, and from there on if we showed any weakness — others like a pack of wolves moved in on us as if we were prey to chastise.

As adults we always want to show strength, for if we don’t, we are seen as weak, and weak people are considered failures in our society. We don’t want to be weak, we strive to be strong and strive to be perfect, so we won’t be weak. I have a notice for you: We are weak people.

Remember the times when words hurt? Remember how they made you feel? They made you feel lousy or about as big as an ant. But you still held your ground and put a smile on your face and took the verbal abuse. Why? Because no one wants to be seen as weak-minded. I’ve been there and I’m pretty sure you have been there, too.

I don’t know of many people who take a mental beating from someone, especially men, and break down and cry in front of others—like our boss or coworkers. It’s been ingrained in us not be weak. This mentality of being strong-minded transitions into our spiritual lives. We want to portray ourselves as perfect spiritual Christians. Go to church and you won’t see many people down trodden, beating their chests like the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14).

We are weak. We want to think we are strong in our minds, but we aren’t. As Christians, our weakness is sin.  For the average unsaved person, their weakness is sin, too. They just don’t recognize it as such. We are all sinners and that makes us weak people.

Oh we don’t want to think we are like the Pharisees as talked about in Luke 18, for example. But think about it, we are pretty close to acting like them sometimes. We want to be strong, not only to others but for God Himself. God knows better of course, but we still try to tuck our weakness of sin away in our pockets, only to have them fall out.

It’s okay to be weak. Embrace it, acknowledge it and move on. God knows we are weak. Why do you think He sent Christ to earth? We all know that Christ died for our sins (our weaknesses) so we can be clean and pure before God. He, Christ, made a way for us to be right before our Lord. His sacrifice covers our sins. Let me caveat that I’m talking here about those that are saved through Jesus Christ, the unsaved have a different destiny.

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26).

As saved Christians we have the Holy Spirit within. The Holy Spirit is the gift given to us from Christ to help us in need, to help us morally, to help us recognize sin, to help us see right from wrong. If you don’t know if you have the Holy Spirit in you…you better evaluate and question your salvation. I love the Holy Spirit. He keeps me on track and lets me know when I didn’t listen to Him and sinned. He convicts me. Oops, I just admitted I’m weak.  (See how easy that was.)

Have you ever felt the Holy Spirit groaning for you in moments of weakness and temptations? I have. For me it happens when I don’t know what to pray, when my words can’t come out, when I’m deeply troubled or have sinned big time. (That is when I get stuck in what to pray for.) I pray for forgiveness of course, but it is deeper than that.

When I don’t know what to say about my weaknesses, I feel something different in my heart and it holds onto me while I’m praying without any words. To me that is the groaning of the Holy Spirit on my behalf.

We are strong-minded people, not wanting to be weak or at least portraying weakness to others or to God. To overcome this we need to learn how to be humble. The opposite of being humble is to be arrogant or prideful. Being humble helps us to recognize that we are weak and sinful people. Being humble is hard to do for some people because they are too prideful to recognize this need to be humble.

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:10).

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud” (Proverbs 16:18-19).

When we are weak, this is the time to be the most humble. Get over yourself and your pride and give your weaknesses to Christ through humbleness. By being humble you will be held up high and lifted up by the Lord. You will be refreshed and your disposition will change.

What do I mean by change? Your attitude and pride will be removed from your heart and mind. There is a freedom in being humble. The Holy Spirit has convicted me in areas in my life which I used to be prideful. I used to be prideful of my intelligence toward others who were not as educated or as smart.

Once I was convicted of this by the Holy Spirit I found I could learn something from everyone; from the rich and powerful to the lowly and homeless. All I had to do was to shut up and listen. I find that each person I come into contact with has some kind of knowledge to glean from and learn. This was an awesome thing for me to realize and see.

All the prideful things in life in which I failed to be humble, I found that the Holy Spirit would teach me a lesson. And I would fall flat on my face because of my arrogance. Looking back I am embarrassed of my pride and remind myself each day to be humble before Christ, especially when I fall into sin.

By doing this it helps me know that I am weak and need Christ to lift me up. I find that by having a humble attitude forgiving others is a lot easier (as well as asking for forgiveness from others and from Christ).

Now being weak before Christ is also a good thing. By being weak before Christ we also become stronger in our relationship with Him. Joshua 1:9 says:

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

Isn’t it awesome to know that God is always with us? In times of trials and joy, He is with us and that, my friend, is one of the best things about Him. To be with us in times of weakness is something important to know. Christ sacrificed Himself because of our weaknesses in sin. By accepting Him we not only become humbled in spirit and saved, but we get the added benefit of His presence with us all the time in—even in those moments when we fail in our weaknesses.

We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us including overcoming our weaknesses.  We all recognize now that weakness is related to sin, pride, and other bad things in life contrary to love and the Bible. Sin pretty much encompasses all the bad things we do, but we can overcome with Christ. By being humble and listening to the Holy Spirit, we can overcome our weaknesses.

Is your weakness pornography? If I remember correctly, pornography is a billion dollar a year industry. Of course the unsaved fail in this, but yes, some Christians do, too. I don’t understand the appeal of it, but for some, it is an addiction. I’ve had people write me telling me that they sin with pornography and can’t stop. They say they pray and pray but they can’t stop looking. This is just an example but there are other things out there that are sinful and addictive to people like gambling, sex, etc., that they claim they can’t overcome. I disagree.

The weaknesses of people can be overcome. Philippians 4:13 says that we can do all things with Christ who strengthens us.  If you have a weakness that you can’t seem to overcome, that you say you can’t stop doing, you are lying to yourself. The Word of God does not lie.  If we say we can’t overcome something sinful, then we are saying the Bible made a mistake. But the Bible doesn’t make mistakes—it is the Word of God. Everything in the Bible is true and can be counted on as being true.

Personally, in my own opinion here, I think those who say they can’t overcome some sinfulness are lying to themselves and don’t really, in their hearts and minds, want to give it up.  Some of you may disagree with me, but I revert back to Philippians 4:13.  This is a true statement. It is not a lie or a mistake, it is the Word of God and if it weren’t true, then it would not be in the Bible. I think people who say they can’t overcome sin have somewhere within, a piece of that sin that they still desire and don’t want to give up.

You have to really want it to be taken out of your life through Christ.

If there is a little piece of lust, gambling, pornography wanting within you, then it will not go away. But we can do all things through Christ. Humble yourself before the Lord and with a full heart ask for forgiveness and strength to overcome the desire to commit the sin you want to let go of.

Our weaknesses are our downfall in life; with Christ though, we can and will overcome. When you overcome weaknesses, you will find that it is easier and easier to not commit sins or to let sin keep a hold on you. You will find that by overcoming your weaknesses you will grow in your relationship with Christ.

As you grow in the relationship, it is like dominos being knocked down. Once you push past that first sin, the rest will also fall away. That is what happens in your relationship with Christ. When you knock down that first domino, sin is defeated and it positively affects your strength and relationship with Christ; it grows and grows and grows.

Let your weakness bring you to strength in Christ. Let your strength in Christ make you humble. Let your humbleness bring you to true salvation.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).