This will be short and brief, but I must share it. It is so easy for me to slip into a mood or feeling of despair at some of the most oddest of things. Usually it is not just one, but a combination of several. What’s crazy is that they aren’t big as we would consider big – death of loved one, disease, loss of job, etc. Those are big ticket items. What had me today was a washer that chews clothes, video stuff that wasn’t working, a headache, work issues, and a few other personal things that are certainly not out of God’s reach.
The devil never takes a break. He attacks whenever, wherever. Lies he tells. Lies I believe that make me feel sub-worthy, when in reality, I’m not worthy at all! It’s deception at its finest. Christ is the only worthiness I have. It’s His righteousness that I have, not my own. According to John MacAruthur’s commentary on Romans 3:24, “God declares a sinner righteous solely on the basis of the merits of Christ’s righteousness. God imputed a believer’s sin to Christ’s account in His sacrificial death, and He imputes Christ’s perfect obedience to God’s law to Christians.”
It’s like carrying a negative balance in your bank account and Christ having a positive balance in His. And he freely says, “Here, let’s trade!!!”
Circumstances, big or small, can intimidate me – somedays more than others. The days that are more challenging, (such as today – irregardless of the size of the items), I can either go along with the intimidation or I can recall the strength that is at my disposal. The harder the struggle, the more power I have available in the Holy Spirit. Paul writes.
2 Corinthians 12:9 But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!
2 Corinthians 12:10 So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength).
I love the Amplified version for this verse. I want to state it again: But He said to me, My favor, loving-kindness and mercy are enough for you – meaning – they are sufficient against any lies, any troubles, any struggles! For My strength, My Power becomes perfect, meaning, they find their fulfillment and become most efficient and effective in the days where you will struggle.
What a source of encouragement the Holy Spirit is! And we have access to it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! Talk about instant gratification!
Notice the end of verse 9 – the strength and power of Christ my rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! Paul is drawing on Old Testament imagery of God coming and dwelling in the Tabernacle. Paul taking delight in the circumstances he faced invited the blessings of God into his life!
I must point out, this doesn’t change the circumstances. They still remain. What changes is me – and that’s what He’s after in the first place, right? My perspective changes in me, my source of strength shifts from human to Divine, from limited to exactly what is needed for that day!
So where do I go with all this? Hmm…I got it! I’ll use a photography analogy!
When I take my camera and focus the lens on one subject, everything else in the frame fades into blur. This is to draw the viewers eyes to the subject of the photograph and away from anything else in the photograph that could be distracting. I can view days like today through a lens that brings into focus the opportunities to ask for and receive the power needed and blurs my circumstances. My circumstances don’t change. They are still there. They simply are no longer my focus – the power of what the Holy Spirit can do is. This goes both ways. If I remain too focused on my circumstances, I blur out and make it harder to discover the power promised to me in 2 Corinthians.
Choose today which lens you will use. Will you choose one that will focus on the circumstances, or on Christ’s power?
My washing machine is still eating clothes. My headache is still there. My work problems are still there. And the video stuff still is not working the way I wanted. But I’ve got my new lens on. And my view is crystal clear – His Power is made perfect in all of those things!
Keep workin’ on me Jesus!