December 3

2 Corinthians 11:16-13:14; Romans 1:1-32

I was watching a competition show the other day and a young contestant was thanking her mentor for helping her learn to believe in herself. That’s a popular attitude these days. Believe in yourself. Be confident in yourself, Be strong, powerful, fearless. 

That all sounds well and good. Until life happens and you face a situation that breaks you. Who do you depend on then?

Paul talked to the Corinthians about his weaknesses. He, who had worldly reason to boast and to stand on his own accomplishments, had a “thorn in (his) flesh”. I don’t know what that was, exactly, but it was a constant reminder of his dependance on God. He shared that God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”.

Paul goes on to say he delights in his own weakness, in hardship and difficulty because when he is weak, God is strong. As Christians who recognize how weak we are in ourselves, we know we have the strength of the Creator God within us.

If you are depending on your own strength, good luck. You are headed for a mighty fall. If you remember, that was what happened to the angel we know as Satan. And if you are believing Satan’s lie that we need to be building ourselves up, standing on our own, finding our own self-worth, then you are headed down the same path he walked. And he wins.

Instead, I would encourage you to give up trying to manufacture those feelings. You are weak. You are flawed. You are powerless. So let God be your strength. Trust me when I say, he’ll take care of you so much better than you can take care of yourself.

There’s a great old hymn I love to sing:

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness… On Christ the solid Rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand. ALL other ground is sinking sand.

Father, I pray that we will stand on that solid Rock instead of the sinking sand of self. May we, like Paul recognize that you are strong when we are weak. And we are weak! Forgive us when we try to do anything on our own power. Help us to confess pride as sin and to allow you to be exactly what we need in every situation. Defeat Satan in our lives today, Lord, and may we depend upon you.

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