“Be strong, hang in there, you can make it, keep a stiff upper lip, hold it together…”
Words spoken by well meaning people.
But is that the best advice?
Maybe. But not always.
Many times it is the exact opposite of what we really need to do.
“Oh, come on, man! Are you crazy?”
Think of it this way: if I’m trying so hard to keep it all together, to keep my power generator cranking out all the energy I can muster; if I’m pushing myself to dangerous levels and STILL not making it, maybe I should try something else.
Like giving up?
It’s a principle of God’s Kingdom.
“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.” (Isaiah 40:29 ESV)
Power to the faint; the exhausted, the spent, the empty.
Did you get that? The EMPTY have room for what He has to give.
The way of the Kingdom.
“He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich (full) He has sent away empty.” (Luke 1:53 ESV)
“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29 ESV)
The way of the Kingdom.
It’s a principle Paul learned when he complained three times to the Lord about all the beatings he had been receiving. (Paul’s true “thorn”)
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 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. 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.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10 ESV)
Many folks believe God answered Paul with a resounding, “NO!”. But read the passage again. God told Paul, “What I have for you is sufficient. Allow MY grace to be your strength. Don’t just approach My throne of grace; RECEIVE My grace to help you in your time of need.”
As long as we are convinced God needs OUR strength, we will fail. But if we will understand it’s okay to feel (and be) weak, that’s when we’ll begin to experience GOD’S strength – His power to overcome any obstacle or weakness.
He gives power to the FAINT! To the exhausted. To the empty, bankrupt, breathless and starving.
Which is actually what every one of us are.
Don’t be too strong for your own good. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, and He WILL lift you up.
He gives power to the faint.
Do you remember how God delivered the Israelites from the land of Egypt? Do you remember WHEN He did? Here’s a hint:
“Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings…” (Exodus 3:7 ESV)
Many times the Lord must wait for us to become so weak we finally call for His help. The children of Israel were in Egypt 430 years; and when the situation became more than they could bear, they cried out to God. And God heard them.
Jesus said, “My Father knows what you have need of, even before you ask.”
Yet, the answer doesn’t magically appear just because we’re His kids. Until we’ve exhausted all our resources, we aren’t capable of receiving His help.
But He gives power to the faint.
Are you willing to empty yourself of your strength, and humble yourself under His mighty hand?
If so, He’ll raise you up. Then you will experience His power for the faint.
“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”” (James 4:6 ESV)
So be it!