Have you ever felt weak? Lacking the physical, mental or emotional ability to carry through a set purpose? Unable to accomplish what you wanted to do? I know there have been times, where I have felt inadequate to the task at hand–much less the mountains I want to climb! Focusing on weakness, leads to more weakness. Focusing on God’s strengthening power leads to strength.
Life is challenging. Sometimes it is difficult to think past our own generation and it’s struggles, but every generation has faced struggles and challenges. The church at Thessalonica faced challenges and persecutions. The believers faced opposition from both the Romans (Gentiles) and the Jews. The amazing thing about our precious brothers and sisters was their testimony. The book of 1 Thessalonians was written by not only Paul, but Silas and Timothy as well. I love verse 3: As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ. Verse 6 goes on to say: So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this you imitated both us and the Lord. As a result you have become an example to all the believers in Greece–throughout both Macedonia and Achaia. And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. It is good to remind ourselves that these were “ordinary” believers. Moms, Dads, Grandmas and Grandpas who came to saving faith in Jesus during challenging times and were making a difference in their world. I googled the walking distance from Thessalonica to Achaia and it was a four day journey! Their story was getting around!
Please do not let fall under condemnation right now–take a deep breath and look at your life: How far has your God story gone? How would it be if others said the same thing about you? When they think of you–the first thing they would think of is your faithful work, your loving deeds and the enduring hope you have? That would be awesome wouldn’t it? Even those believers were enduring severe suffering, they were able to let their light shine for the Lord because of God’s strengthening power. We have access to the same Holy Spirit that helped them. Our weaknesses can be turned into strength as we simply ask. It is up to Him, how that strength comes.
In 2 Thessalonians 1:11, we find Paul, Timothy and Silas writing to these dear believers again. So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Remember, it is not about us. This is such an encouraging scripture. We do not have to be stymied by our own weakness, but we can pray for and expect, by faith His strength to replace our weakness. Do not let the weakness you perceive hinder you from accomplishing the promptings the Holy Spirit gives you. It does not matter if your weakness is in relationships, parenting, educational goals, ministry directions, He strength is available.
Father, I thank you for your strengthening power helping your Church today. I thank you that we can accomplish all the good things our faith prompts us to do through the equipping power of the Holy Spirit. Open our eyes and hearts to all of those good things. In Jesus Name, amen