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Let the Weakling Say, "I Am Strong!"

by Susan Gurney  
5/04/2013 / Christian Living

Trent, age five, was telling his Christian Day Care teacher about the karate lessons he was taking. "Karate makes you really strong," he said enthusiastically. Then he thought a moment, his eyes sparkling, and said, "But do you know who the strongest people are?" The teacher shook her head. Trent exclaimed, "They're the ones who know Jesus!"

As children we seem to accept such Bible stories as that of Joshua against the city of
Jericho, David against Goliath, Gideon against the Midianites, and Samson against the Philistines, with great faith and at face value. But what happens as we get older, "wiser", and less childlike? One starts thinking, "I have enough trouble just balancing my checkbook or getting along with my spouse or driving to work without having an accident, without worrying about defeating a giant, or battling God's enemies. What in the world do these Bible stories have to do with me!? I could never do any of those things! Besides, hardly any of those 'great' Bible characters were really all that great, anyway. Look at David--he committed adultery and ended up having a son go to war against him. And Samson--everyone knows how he let a fallen woman bring him down to ruin!"

Take a step back for a moment and look at the Bible as a whole. God is trying to make
a point through His Word, and the point is this: "Yes, my children, I know that the people I tell you about in the Bible (with the exception of my Son, Jesus) were flawed. Yes, I know they were not perfect. They were weak. You are not perfect. You are weak. Look at the mighty things I accomplished in the past through ordinary, imperfect, weak people! I can and will do mighty and awesome things today through you who are also ordinary, imperfect, and weak. You only need the faith of a child and you need to trust in Me. I am strong! I do great things through weak people!"

The Apostle Paul summed it all up when he quoted the Lord in II Corinthians 12:9: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Paul then agrees, saying in verse 10: "For when I am weak, then I am strong." And as little Trent said. "...the strongest people are the ones who know Jesus!"

What does God's Word, the Bible, say about this?

Judges 6:14-16 "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?' 'But Lord,' Gideon asked, 'how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.' The Lord answered, 'I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.'" NIV

I Samuel 16:7 "But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'" NIV

I Samuel 17:45a & 47b "David said to the Philistine, 'You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands.'"

Joel 3:10b "...Let the weakling say, 'I am strong!'" NIV

Matthew 18:4b "(Jesus said): '... whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'"

II Corinthians 12:10b "For when I am weak, then I am strong." NIV

Now read the following Bible passages in your favorite version of the Bible:

Judges 6:11-16
I Samuel 16:1-13 and I Samuel 17:1-58
Joel 3:10
Matthew 18:1-6 and 19:13-15
Luke 10:17-21
John 14:8-14
II Corinthians 12:9-10 and 13:3b-4

Susan Gurney writes devotionals, poetry, short stories, memoirs, and nonfiction on family history, faith and nature. She has experience writing/editing church and family newsletters. Find Susan at Copyright 2013 Susan Simons Gurney

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