People can have very different reactions to similar circumstances. For instance, suppose two women from the same church are battling cancer—let’s call them Jean and Barbara. Both are believers, but only Jean is living peacefully, even joyfully, through her ordeal—she long ago admitted her weakness and need for the Lord’s intervention. While Barbara prays for God to “help me get through this,” Jean says, “God, I cannot. Please carry me through.”
Jean knows that Jesus Christ is the source of her strength, but Barbara is relying mostly upon herself. Everyone has a certain amount of fortitude, but that human capacity can carry a person only so far. Some situations will sap every drop of energy we have and still demand more. Through the Holy Spirit, believers can access an endless well of supernatural power to triumph in any trial.
However, the second woman is not receiving the same infusion of the Spirit’s power as Jean. Barbara wants help—which is why she desperately calls out to the Lord—but refuses to admit that she cannot face cancer alone. In truth, we all dislike acknowledging that we are weak. Human pride is a potent force that must be uprooted before we can be filled with the Spirit’s power.
Our weakness frees God to make His greatest triumphs. His power is loosed when His children admit they are not in control and can do nothing to help themselves. Only then do we find the energy, courage, and peace we need to go on living for His glory.
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