Tuesday, July 14, 2015

"The Enigma of Faith"

   Because God's strength is "made perfect in weakness," the Apostle Paul could affirm the enigmatic condition, "When I am weak, then am I strong" (II Corinthians 12:9-10). 

   Mutually exclusive realities find place and union in born again believers.  We rejoice in our sorrows.  We trust when perplexed.  We see light in darkness.  And we believe that a tomb of death became the birthplace of the greatest Life imaginable - "He is not here, for He is risen" (Matthew 28:6).  Thus, we live our lives expecting enigma, the enigma of faith whereby the realities of earth serve as open portals through which we gaze upon the greater glories of Heaven.

    "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.  We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed.  We are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken, cast down, but not destroyed.  Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body" (II Corinthians 4:7-10)

    Weakness, in whatever form, provides opportunity to those who realize that God's way in our lives involves the union of mutually exclusive realities.  "I cannot" serves as the springboard of "He can", and ultimately of "I can do… through Christ" (John 15:5; Mark 7:37; Philippians 4:13).  Weakness continues to feel like weakness, of course, and our initial human reaction to the sense of inability may still tempt us to despair.  We overcome, however, when we remember that our Lord Himself was "crucified through weakness", and that such apparent futility led to the display of Divine power that raised Him from the dead (II Corinthians 13:4).  The challenge is great as we must learn to view liabilities as assets.  The reward is greater, however, for those who discover that mutually exclusive realities actually serve as mightily enabling resurrection in the lives of those who by faith see that "the Light shineth in darkness" (John 1:5).

    Scripture calls us to "be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might" (Ephesians 6:10).  The realization of our weakness prepares us to avail ourselves of such grace.  The way is not easy, but it is wondrous as "when I am weak, then I am strong" becomes expectation rather than enigma…

"We also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you."
(II Corinthians 13:4)

Weekly Memory Verse
  He is the rock, His work is perfect, for all His ways are done in judgment, a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.
(Deuteronomy 32:4)

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