2 Corinthians 12:10
Who is the strongest person you know? Who is the weakest person you know?
Did you think of muscles or emotions?
According to the Worlds Strongest Man competition Brian Shaw of the USA and ydrūnas Savickas of Lithuanian are two of the strongest men in the world had have been since 2002. They have combined to win 8 of the last nine contests; Brian Shaw only finished 3rd two weeks ago.
Physically they are strong but what about emotionally.
I dont know of any contests that determine the strongest emotional person.
How strong are you physically you could work out and get stronger.
How strong are you emotionally? How do you work out and get stronger emotionally?
We will try to answer that question today.
But first I have to confess something today I am weak.
Since our accident sometimes I cant even get up out of a chair without help; I cant even put on my own socks. That is pretty weak and helpless.
Sometimes emotionally I break down and cry; anything may set it off. Pain can really wear you down as many of you know. I have dealt with more difficult things in life when Michael died, when Sarah was dying and received a heart transplant and multiple times she has had to be hospitalized. This is different in the fact that my pain is physical and limiting; in the past it was all emotional and grief stricken.
The answer is the same whether you and I struggle with physical weakness or emotional weakness.
Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
We can find rest and strength in Jesus.
What is burdening you?
Marriage, health, kids, grandkids, job
Give your burden over to Jesus.
Some people will say you just dont understand. Dont give me some churchy answer. But hiding in Jesus is the answer.
When the kids where little they ran to us for protection. A kid grabs your leg or gives you a death squeeze around the neck. As their father, you protect them and they feel safe in your arms. Remember walking around the zoo and the kids get tired, what do you do, you care them and they rest.
Why cant it be that simply with us.
As a child of God run to Him, squeeze His neck, rest in His arms. He will give you rest.
But like a little kid we want to get down and run and do our own thing.
So, we go back and forth.
Let Jesus carry the heavy end. Take His yoke, cast you cares on Him.
When two people carry a heavy object it is light, especially if the other person is carrying the heavy end.
A better illustration is when a child helps you carry something heavy. They arent doing any of the heavy lifting. Let Jesus carry your load.
Another passage we need to remember:
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
God loves you He cares for you. He is a safe place to hide, you can share all your concerns with Him. He will listen and heal.
We cant live in fear and worry.
We would have to stop living and make our kids stop living too. I guess we could only let them do what we can control. That is the point there is nothing we can control.
After the wreck, it is harder to see our kids walk out the door and drive somewhere. It is harder for me to ride in a car to even come to church. I cant control the other driver, I put my kids and myself in the hands of God and know that He is in control and know that He loves us and is with us. Yes, He may allow harm and injury to come but He is also there to walk with us a bring us to His heavenly home.
I can cast my anxiety on Him because He cares for me; and He cares for you.
God created the perfect paradise but Adam and Eve choose to sin so now we live in a sin filled world. God is not going to step in and prevent evil or bad things from happening, we suffer because we live in a fallen world.
God did step in to heal the suffering and to protect us from evil. God the Father sent Jesus the Son to die on the cross to remove the curse of sin so we could live in Heaven for eternity. Jesus death on the cross was not to save us from the pain of this earth. Jesus death on the cross rescues us from eternal pain.
2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
We must expect trouble and hardships in this life and understand they are only light and momentary troubles. We have said and others have told me It could have been worse. I agree and that mentality helps but that doesnt eliminate the present struggles. What will help is where do I focus my eyes. Do we focus on the trouble we are facing or look toward the future when we will be free of pain.
I know that is the struggle; looking past the current pain and seeing Heaven. That is why Jesus said come to Him, cast your cares on Him.
Paul knew the struggles of this life.
2 Corinthians 11:23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? 30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
He boasted in his weakness. Dont take pride in your strength, take pride that you are weak. I am weak.
Are you weak? Praise God!
It is ok to be weak. Someone messaged me this week.
Hello. You and your family have been on my mind this evening. I know what you are going through must be very trying, especially for you. I’m not the best with words, but for some reason I want to tell you: it’s OK not to be strong all the time, to take time to rest, and to care for your health. It’s OK to be vulnerable. God’s got this. He’s got you.
It is ok to be weak actually, it is best to be weak.
2 Corinthians 12:10 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.
When I am weak then I am strong. We have know that since the first time we sang Jesus Loves Me.
They are weak but He is strong
Are you weak? Rely on Jesus, rest in Jesus and you will be strong. Run to Jesus and His word and you will be strong. Know that God has this and will give you the strength to carry on.
Last week someone asked if I had time to give them some counsel. They didnt want to burden me because they knew that I had enough on my emotional plate; I appreciated the consideration but this was my response.
I can do all things in Christ when I am weak then I am strong.
I cant do anything in my own strength but in Christ I can do all things, even be content with my present circumstances.
Philippians 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Christ is our strength we are the strongest person in the world even when we think we are weak.
We can win any Strong Man competition.
Let me show you one example of a weak man becoming strong in God.
Judges 6:12 When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” 13 “But sir,” Gideon replied, “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.”
When bad things happen that is our question and accusation. Why has this happened? God has abandoned us. The Lord doesnt even take the time to dignify the question with an answer. The Lord says Go.
14 The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” 15 “But Lord,” Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” 16 The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.”
Dont make excuses like Gideon, I cant go because I am weak. The Lord says I will be with you.
You know what happens Gideon, with 300 men, by the power of God defeated the Midianite army.
When I am weak, then I am strong.
I am weak but as I rely upon God I am strong.
Will you be strong by running to Jesus?