Pastoral Perspectives

I Am Not Strong

What happened when your world caved in? Do you have the resolve to pull you through? Are you capable to face it and overcome it? Crisis and disaster are beyond our control. When they strike, you are not prepared for it but puzzled by what is happening to you. Where are your anchors? Where are your reservoirs of strength? Your confidence is tested. Your conviction is proved. Your hope is crushed. You have no strength to face the tough road ahead. Do you require faith, faith in the Lord Jesus? You may even utter a short prayer like this: “Lord Jesus, Son of God, give me faith, faith in You to walk with You. Amen.” When you know that Jesus is with you, you will not fear but you will trust in His great faithfulness. 

The trials of life! The turbulences of ministry! The expectations of self! The encumbrances of others! All these can somehow impede the progress of your spiritual endeavour and growth! Where and what is your focus? Have you been distracted? Have you been discouraged? Have you been disillusioned? You do not have the energy to go on in life. You know that you need to get back on track. You need to do what is needful to be done. Turn to the powerful words of God and learn some precious lessons from them.

David was a shepherd boy when God called him to be a king. Was the life of King David easy and smooth? No, King David encountered a lot of turbulences and trials in his life. When you read about his life, you would know how rough and tough it was. One thing stood out very clearly in his life: his unshaken confidence in God. In Psalm 27:1, David said, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Such is the confidence of David whom God testified and said: “I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.” (Acts 13:22)

Saul was a Pharisee and a persecutor of the church before his conversion. When the apostle Paul was called by God to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles, was his life easy and smooth after he trusted Christ and followed Him? No, the apostle Paul encountered many oppositions and persecutions from his own people, the Jews. He said in 2 Timothy 3:12, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” The apostle Paul had his own struggles. He admitted his weaknesses before God. He knew that he needed God’s strength to see him through. He was bothered and troubled by a thorn in the flesh and asked God to remove it but God did not. Instead God said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Here, ‘my power’ is referred to God’s strength which was given to him to overcome his problem. He was able to say confidently, in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, that: “I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Such is the confidence of the apostle Paul whom God said: “He is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” (Acts 9:15-16)

When God called Moses to bring His people out of Egypt, Moses did not seem willing by his reply to God, saying “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11) Moreover, Moses also said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” (Exodus 4:10). When you read about the life of Moses, you would marvel at how God had completely transformed him. During that moment when the Egyptian armies were after them, at the Red Sea, Moses placed his unshaken confidence in the Lord God and said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14:13-14). 

There is so much to learn from the kings, prophets and apostles of old. Are they strong? Are they self-sufficient? They aren’t. Their unshaken confidence is in the Lord Most High, the One who provides them with great courage and strength to follow Him wholeheartedly and to do His will. Let us, therefore, remain steadfast in following the Lord Jesus and in walking with Him, not wavering in our faith, but waiting earnestly for Him to provide us with courage and strength to overcome the obstacles in our lives and always ready to do His will.

Pr George Ang

June 4, 2017