That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. -2 Corinthians 12:10
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. -Philippians 4:13
Don’t run from darkness. Shine into darkness. -Craig Groeschel, LifeChurch.tv
More and more each day, I get it. I get where Paul is coming from by saying something so seemingly bizarre, where he would delight in bad things that come his way.
Foundational joy is what Paul exhibited in his epistles. In contrast to the appalling conditions and situations he faced, the joy of the Lord was his strength. His underpinnings of faith and joy were so strong that his perspective was altered: He could see opportunity where others saw pain and suffering.
That’s because, in every season, month, day, hour, minute, and moment, anything God allows to challenge us is an opportunity to step aside and let Him shine. Pain and suffering is a given. It will come. How you choose to react to it is a different story.
Good times or bad times, you can choose to give Him the glory in how you walk. In good times, be sure to praise Him for the plenty He has bestowed upon you. In bad times, be sure to praise Him for loving you enough to grow you through trials.
It is when you’re bombarded with fire that you are presented with the opportunity to learn to negate it with His truth in His Word and in your identity in Christ. It is when you’re crushed by the weight of sin that you can learn to hand them prayerfully to Him so you can walk with Him again. It is when you’re completely spent and can’t take another breath—or another step—that you can let go…and let Him infuse you with His strength and raise you up.
Paul, I get it now. It’s part of what you were telling the Christians in Corinth: It’s not our walk, but His…and in all aspects and seasons of it, we have the privilege to make God known to the world, as His ambassadors.
And to the world we can say: Bring it. Even your worst is infinitesimal compared to what God can overcome through us. In the name of the Lord, we will carry His light into the deepest, darkest, stormiest night.
“Strong Enough” by Matthew West recognizes that we need to step aside and let God power our walk.