“I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy.”
Focus on your weaknesses in order to point to Christ as the source of our strength.
As human beings we tend to avoid our weaknesses. ‘Weakness’ bears a negative connotation in our minds because we are naturally prideful people. We associate failure with heavy-heartedness, and weakness as a sub-standard expectation of a good life.
The mission of Jesus while He was on earth, was to redeem all mankind to the Father. He tasted our humanness and experienced our weaknesses, though he was completely God. He chose to live as we live and served as a perfect example of whole-hearted dependence on the power and the Spirit of God; following only where He saw the Father lead.
As we see in this passage of Scripture, a main component to this redemptive mission was to fill every human who chose to follow him with joy – a joy that is immovable and unshakable regardless of any circumstance.
Scripture says blessed are those who are poor in spirit. He brings strength to the humble, not the proud. Your weakness acts like a magnet for God’s strength. Heaven is attracted to weakness because it acts as an open opportunity for God’s glory to invade.
1. Recognise two of your greatest weaknesses or failures.
2. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you God’s perspective of those weaknesses.
“Holy Spirit, you exchange praise for heaviness! Thank-you that you don’t leave us in our weakness, but you draw close to us in our moments of need. In your Presence God there is fullness of joy, so help me to live in your Presence every moment of every day. I surrender to you again today. Take all of me, all of my strengths and all of my weaknesses for your glory. I receive the joy that you died to give me. I claim it today, and choose to live a life that is full regardless of my circumstances.”
“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
When I became a Christian at 12-years-old I lived my life full of faith and joy. I mean, of course I did, I had a relationship with a God who accepted me despite all of my brokenness, and all of the discord and rejection I had faced growing up.
However, in my first two years in university, the pain of childhood brokenness found its way to the surface, and I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I felt a weight on my chest that could not be lifted, constant pressure on my body and strain on my shoulders. The pain never left, and because the pain never left I felt shame, and because of the shame the pain kept building. I felt hopeless and completely alone. My constant cry was Psalm 143: “The enemy has pursued my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead. Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled.”
Depression stripped me of everything I knew of myself.
I no longer recognised who April-Sterling was. I was weak.
But this is exactly where God met me. In the midst of a year and a half of unbearable pain, self-harm, and isolation, God sustained me. I cannot and will not downplay the severity of depression, but there was never such sweet communion between my Saviour and I. He sat with me and my tears every day. He removed me from the place that kept surfacing the pain and brought me into a year of healing.
Actually, he’s still rebuilding and redeeming that broken person, even five years later. Where I couldn’t fight, where all I had to offer was weakness and brokenness, where I couldn’t see hope, the God of love brought healing, goodness and life.
“He brought me out into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me.”