10 So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10 CSB)
The world does not recognize strength in weakness. It sees only success through the eyes of strength and confidence. However, when we consider people like Mother Teresa or Gandhi there is much strength found in seeming weakness.
Our weaknesses perfect us and help us to grow. If there was never weakness there could never be growth.
Thus, look at your weaknesses as a way to develop strength.
15 For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. (Romans 7:15 CSB)
Do you ever find yourself doing something that you know is not in keeping with your values? Maybe it is just letting yourself get overly angry. Maybe your kind personality changes when you get behind the wheel and have to drive in traffic.
Our nature is to sin. To do those things that we know are not a value in this world and go against our values. However, we know what is right and what is just. If we will but take a moment to consider the lasting value of our actions.
When we take that briefiest of moments to consider the value, that our values tend to kick in and we rethink our actions.
7 If you abide (remain) in me and my words abide (remain) in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. (John 15:7 CSB)
Many may read this and miss the central point. They see “ask whatever you want and it will be done for you” and then get disappointed when things do not go their way after praying.
But the true central point is to “Abide”. We must abide in Christ and have His words abide in us. When this happens what we ask will most likely be within the will of God.
41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. (Matthew 5:41 NIV)
When we go the extra mile we then to consider this a work of simply doing more. However, the real though behind this is to bear another’s burden longer than would seem necessary, to walk beside someone throughout their journey, not just fo are time.
When we bear up alongside someone for a greater period of time we tend to understand them better. When we take the extra time to go well beyond what is asked we demonstrate our dedication, loyalty and compassion.
When forced the first mile we are compelled, the second mile is where we are commiserate.
27 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. (Luke 6:27-28 NLT)
Do any of us truly have enemies? Probably not. Do we encounter people who do not treat us right, you bet.
Our response to those is what is most important. Getting mad and harboring animosity, typically, only harms us not them. We take into ourselves the negativity and allow it to fester within.
How much better to love our enemies. To not allow them any power over our inner being and pray instead for their well being and our reconciliation. This does more for us and for them than any angst we might hold on to.
4 Get up, for it is your duty to tell us how to proceed in setting things straight. We are behind you, so be strong and take action.” (Ezra 10:4 NLT)
Be strong and take action. We are not meant to sit idly by waiting for others to make decisions for us. We are meant to move forward in confidence even if we sometimes fail. For, without failure there is no real progress.
14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15 NLT)
Everyone likes hearing good news. With so much bad news assailing us, good news is a breath of fresh air. And what of the messengers of this news, how much more are we appreciative of them?
In many places The Good News is not necessarily well received. We must first build trust with others to impart this good news. Once they have witnessed how we live do they begin to see the embodiment of that Good News.
Bless today the feet of the messengers, as their good news brings with it great joy.