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Sunday, 25 October 2015

Strength out of weakness.

As I endeavour to set up the study in our new home in Gardonne, I am 'discovering' books that had almost been forgotten!  One of those is a book on the life of David Brainerd, a man whose ministry emphasises the words of Almighty God, given to His servant Paul, and shared with us in II Corinthians 12:9 - "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness".

David Brainerd was, for about four years, a missionary to the North American native people ("Red Indians"), and experienced a variety of physical ailments, as well as suffering from a form of mental neurosis.  He died when he was only 29 years of age, yet he did more for the Lord during his brief life than many other robust, and talented, men accomplish in 60 or 70 years of ministry.  Often desperately ill and, humanly speaking, alone, he repeatedly travelled deep into the forest, trying to reach tribes whose language he did not even speak.  At times, he records in his journal, he spent whole days in prayer,asking the Lord to intervene.  Once, the only interpreter available to him was so drunk that he could hardly stand up - yet scores were converted through the Gospel message.  Although Brainerd was extremely weak, God's strength was consistently manifested through him.

The truth that divine power is best displayed against the background of human frailty, was emphasised by Paul in his letters, and exemplified in his life.   He ministered to the Corinthians "... in weakness,and in much fear and trembling ..." (I Cor.2:3).  His speech was not with enticing words, and great oratory, yet he preached "... in demonstration of the Spirit, and power, ..." (I Cor.2:4).  In spite of suffering from "... a thorn ... given me in the flesh ..." (II Cor.12:7), he determined that the Lord would be glorified through his affliction.

Each of us has inabilities - even handicaps.  However, if we are disciples of Jesus, we have no right to sit around, wallowing in self-pity, and doing nothing.  We should, surely, gladly accept the Lord's will for our lives, and serve Him wherever we are, as He gives us opportunity.  Our very weaknesses are the Lord's opportunities to reveal His strength!

Remember, we may face situations that are beyond our physical strength; but they are never beyond His supernatural resources!

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