If you feel weak, thank God. Times of weakness are special opportunities to rejoice in the grace of God.
Our current text at The Red Brick Church is 1 Timothy 1:12-17.
12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Paul begins these verses by thanking God for the strength God has given to Paul. It would be easy to breeze right through this thought, picturing how God gave Paul the strength he needed ever step of the way. But such a superficial reading would miss the point. While, God certainly did give Paul strength, he did it by giving Paul weakness.
If you find the thought that God gave Paul strength through weakness confusing, you are not alone. It’s a paradox. We will be considering this truth in greater detail on 2/10. As part of the preparation for that sermon, I suggest an excellent article by Jon Bloom, Are You Content with Weakness? Bloom does an excellent job explaining how God’s grace is more clearly seen and more deeply savored in our weaknesses than in our strengths.