“What does not break you will make you stronger” is what one trainer used to say in her exercise videos, as she tries to motivate people to keep pushing towards the finish line even when it feels as if every muscle is screaming: “Stop right now!” Many times in athletics, if one does not quit when they get uncomfortable, they will see growth. For the secular world, it is all about relying on one’s own strength and effort in order to achieve the goal.
There will come a point for some at which there is no amount of self-will or effort, that can give them the comfort and strength they need to face tremendous trials. These trials can entail heartache, grief, and suffering they are experiencing at the moment. Where then can a person turn to during those times? This brings to mind the famous verses that Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Paul was experiencing a trial that was difficult enough for him to plead with the Lord three times to take it away. God did not tell Paul “No, I will not take it away,” neither did He say “Yes, I will take it away,” but He instead said “I will walk with you through it.” Paul was broken and he was weak in his own strength, but he had the faith that God’s grace was sufficient for him. He more than likely did not have all the answers to some of the sufferings that he endured. He had the unshaken faith in God that even in the hardest trials, he is not alone, and that God is walking him through it. God’s strength manifests itself in greatest measure when we are at our weakest, and are completely dependent upon Him to bring us through. But it does not stop there.
The amazing thing about it all is that each time we lean on the Lord to bring us through by His grace, we are made stronger and wiser in the Lord. We not only become more equipped for the next trial in life that will come our way but we are also equipped to help those who might be going through the same struggle. That’s the beauty of a Christian life that is lived in the strength and grace of the Lord.
Whose strength are you living in today? Are you currently experiencing a trial or suffering that you feel you might just collapse under the weight of it at any moment? If so, there is a God Who wants to help you, to give you grace and strength to go through your trial. You are not alone. God is always near and just a prayer away.