Monday, April 22, 2013
Deliverance Through Weakness
In a recent sermon, Bethlehem Baptist Preaching Pastor Jason Meyer discussed how the “twin peaks” of praise and hope can arise even from within the “valley” of suffering, if we suffer in Christ. http://www.hopeingod.org/sermon/god-all-comfort. Meyer describes how, if we turn our heart’s affections towards God, then our lives will ultimately overflow in a lifestyle of praise towards God even in times of suffering. Meyer cautioned, however, that suffering will not have this desired effect for those of us who, at various times, have felt like we needed to respond to suffering by pretending to “have it together” so as to avoid the humbling experience of receiving the assistance of others.
Meyer preached that,
“Some of us are in danger of not being worshippers because we are not in touch with our weakness. Sometimes people feel pressure in the church to act like they have it altogether. Let me be frank. If you act like you always have it altogether, then you make praise impossible because you act as though you don’t need to be delivered—you act like you have arrived and don’t need grace or God anymore. How do can you urge someone to praise God with you and enjoy his deliverance if you act like you never needed it in the first place? Being in touch with your weakness and your need for deliverance, primes the pump for praise to come when the deliverance comes!”
In my case, I think my own attempts to be “outwardly religious” hampered the ability of others to minister to Heather and me in the time since Micah died. I remember specific instances of hoping that Heather might not say or do certain things because I thought they might either seem “Un-christian” or “un-spiritual” to fellow unbelievers.
This prideful, “perception over reality” approach to suffering is diametrically opposed to Paul’s Christ-centered approach. Rather than hide his weakness, Paul heard God telling him, “…My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9). If you are like me, you need to let pride die. After all, what is more important to you—a perception that you have it all together, or submitting to the humility of accepting God’s assistance through others, and therefore having Christ’s power rest on you?