My Testimony: His Strength in My Weakness

Have you ever wondered if you matter?

Have you ever wondered if you can be sure that you are “saved” (rescued from sin by Christ’s death and resurrection) and have eternal life?

Those were questions that plagued me for most of my life.

In December, I was invited to give my testimony.  It was recorded, and I share it below.

I would far prefer to write. Public speaking takes me out of my comfort zone. In fact, I told my husband on the way over it felt like I was going to surgery!

The title for my testimony was “His Strength in My Weakness” which I again experienced that night. That truth (from 2 Corinthians 12:9-10)—and that we live this life by the power of His Spirit working in us—is my life song. Weakness is my platform. That’s really all I have to bring—nothing in me, all in Christ.

At my husband’s encouragement, I’m sharing it here. This is not an easy thing to do. I offer it with only a desire to point to Jesus, and a prayer that it might somehow be used for His glory.

Highlights from the Week

Just need a place to capture some encouragements from this week.

I was invited to share my testimony at Koinonia House National Ministries‘ Radical Time Out (RTO). RTO is a weekly dinner and Bible study. It was humbling and such a gift to share. My mom, husband, and friends gathered at the end to pray. This was a special time I pray God uses for His glory. So much is represented in this picture to me, more than I can describe. My heart is full. Thank you, Lord, for being my strength in weakness.

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Then this song has ministered to me this week. I don’t want to forget.

Then lastly, these verses offer me hope, encouragement to trust in the Lord for the coming days even as I wait on Him. He gives strength to the weary, new strength to those who wait, trust, and hope in Him.

Isaiah 40:28-31:

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

Ten Years!

Ten years ago, God drew me to Himself in a way I hadn’t known before. I wrote this seven years ago, but link to it here today as I remember with thankfulness the work God has done and continues to do in my life. Thank you, Lord! The journey with you is full of true joy!

 

Verse for the Day – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Have you ever felt like you can’t do it? You can’t live the Christian life well? It’s just too hard?

Or why not just keep going like things are—isn’t that good enough? Do we really need to try to do better? or be better? And is that even possible in a world stained by sin? Can we possibly improve ourselves, much less make a positive difference in this world?

If you’ve ever struggled with these things, those questions, then I think you are in a really good place. Does that sound strange? What?! Feeling as though I can’t do it is a good place to be? Wouldn’t it be better to feel like I am competent and able and strong and doing really well?

I introduce you today to my life verses, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

Paul has been talking about a thorn in his flesh that was given to him, and he had pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from him.

“And He [the Lord] said to me [Paul], My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefor I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (NKJV)

Think about that. God’s strength is made perfect in weakness. If we could do it all, if we had all it takes, why would we need Him? But when we wrestle in our Christian walk of faith, when we see this is too much, it’s too hard, it’s when we begin to realize, yes, it’s too hard! But not for Christ! He is strong, He is greater than it all, and He is able by the power of His Holy Spirit to work in you for his good pleasure, your great joy and good, and His glory.

See your inability, your weakness, not as something to discourage you, but to lead you to Christ. He does still call us to act and obey, to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12), to “put off” sin and “put on” godliness (Col. 3), but He will help us. Keep calling out to Him for help.

He forgives us when we repent (1 John 1:9). He hears us when we cry. He answers us when we call. Let Him give you His strength to live each day. Sometimes it may be up and down and hard, but keep looking to Him, keep seeking Him, keep believing He is able and will lead you. Let His strength help you in your weakness.

We can’t live this life in our own strength. (We can try, we may feel we can for a bit, but it will always fail!)  When we understand and see the truth and beauty of that reality, then we are able to accept something which is so much better: we live this life in His strength, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ in us, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).

PRAYER: Dear Lord, we come to You this day acknowledging our sinfulness and the things that so easily beset us and discourage us. Help us to give up ourselves and turn to You who is able to keep us from falling and is able to give us the strength that we need to obey and follow You with great joy. We are human, we surely fail, but we have You, our God who is greater than all our sin, who rejoices when we repent, who waits patiently for us, and who will supply us with all we need for life and godliness. We love and praise You this day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Verse for the Day – Ephesians 6:10-12a

If yesterday told us we are in a race, today tells us we are in a battle!

This entire section in Ephesians 6:10-20 is worth reading in full, but I focus on the following:

Ephesians 6:10-12a:

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood,…” (ESV)

We saw yesterday that we are running a race and need to lay aside the weights and run with endurance. Some of the obstacles we face in our faith run are not just our own sin, but the schemes of the evil one. But God has given us a way that we can stand – by putting on the whole armor of God!

Last week, I read that entire passage and drew a picture of me with the parts of the armor labeled so I could remember what God gives us in order to stand! He tells us the pieces of armor to “put on” and “take up” so we are equipped for the unseen battle in the heavenly places that is real and that we surely face. But remember, too, in Whose strength we stand – the Lord’s! He is the powerful and mighty One who gives us all that we need, and He will fight for us and deliver us. The battle is His. Yet he calls us to stand firm in His strength and mighty power, to pray, to be watchful, to put on the whole armor of God.

PRAYER: Help us today, Lord, to put on your full armor that we can stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Please show us what those schemes are in our lives and the way he is against us, but remind us that you are for us. Let us confess to you our struggles and ask in prayer for help, and please rescue us in your strength and mighty power. Help us to continue to fix our eyes on You in prayer and faith and through the truth of your Word. We love you, Lord. Amen.

Complacency to Joy

My heart is full tonight.

Have you ever battled complacency? If I admit it, I am very content and thankful with life. I love the Lord, my family, my home, my church, my town, my job. It’s easy when things are going along so well to find myself wondering what else God would have me be doing. Am I doing the things He wants? He has given so much. Am I praising Him, thanking Him, daily seeking Him?

There’s nothing I can point to that should cause me to be complacent. But I often wonder, “What else? Am I missing anything?” I am often haunted by time that I waste on meaningless things instead of things I could have done instead.

I think this is because I know the difference with living with less wasted time and more intentionality than I am now. I think about the work the Lord has done in my life, and how after that time my heart longed daily to know what He had for me that day. I know the difference in wasting time on a TV show (a struggle in my past) or Facebook (a current struggle) instead of writing a note of encouragement to a friend or taking time to read my Bible or a book or praying. How many moments and hours am I wasting?

Tonight I was refreshed in the Lord. This is the 8 year anniversary of me bowing on my knees by my bed and surrendering my life to the Lord. I’ve written about it before here. It was life-changing. The things the Lord showed me over a two-day period were that He is my Rock and He is my Strength. Many times over these 8 years, this day, April 28, turns out to be a really special day. One year, I met Beth Moore on this day. She has had a huge impact on my walk with the Lord through her Bible studies.

I don’t want to make too much out of certain days, but I do love to celebrate this one! And tonight at church, the Lord met me. We sang a song about Christ the Cornerstone, the “weak made strong,” the theme of 8 years ago. I wasn’t going to make too much out of phrases in songs.

But then the preacher started preaching from Phil. 4:4-8. During his message, he went to 2 Corinthians 11 talking about Paul boasting in weakness. And then before I knew it, he was in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10:

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

These were the very verses God used back in 2005!

The preacher gave the benediction from Psalm 40, how God lifted us from the miry clay and set our feet upon the Rock!

God is my Rock and my Strength, and He used tonight to confirm these truths and remind me of 8 years ago and fill my heart and stir me again with the conviction that He has purpose and plans for me to know Him and to trust Him and to walk with Him.

During the next to the last song, God brought to mind a couple that I felt like He had been prompting me to reach out to about a month ago when I was praying. I had dismissed it later, thinking it might seem silly to them. But God brought them to mind. We then went to sing the last song, and it was the song that I have for this family! A Chris Tomlin song from 2009, a song I have never sung in church. I was just amazed that as God brought them to mind again, He brought this song. Maybe this is the next step I’m looking for, the step to break out of some of my complacency and reach out beyond myself.

He’s shown me that He puts people in my path, and there are several now that I know I need to act on. So I pray for wisdom to know how and when and ask that God would move me from complacency back to joy and a heart filled with Him!