A New Year brings us a renewed sense of optimism and promise to our lives. It is a time to make resolutions that will hopefully make our lives much better. In essence, we are preparing ourselves to succeed in 2014. We seek out every chance we have to excel. However, an equally important question to ask is, “Are we preparing ourselves to fail in 2014?” Are we prepared to struggle physically? Are we ready to bear the brunt of devastating news? Because failure, hurt and weakness are waiting for us this year.
Personally, I know I’m not ready. I’ve become so programmed by American cultural Christianity that I need to focus on living my best life now. Daily our country cranks out scores of books, TV shows and sermons that center around the prosperity gospel. The mantra of the prosperity gospel goes something like “trust more, give more, pray harder and the Lord is going to bless you and nothing bad will ever happen to you.” Many of you readers would say that we don’t buy into the prosperity gospel, but our prayer life will reveal otherwise. The bulk of our prayer life centers on us wanting things to get better: our health, our finances, our jobs. Subconsciously, we want that best life and we want it now. We fear weakness, trial and tribulation. We wish our pain away and hide it so others can’t see we’re hurting. But why?
Why do we hide our failures, weaknesses and trials? I say in 2014, let’s embrace the hard times of our lives. May we not let our weaknesses define us but to know that it is OK that my heart is broken. It is OK that my heart is filled with fear. It is OK that I have no idea what is next for me in my life. God reigns over all just as much in my weaknesses as He does in my successes. I know in my heart that God will give me strength whatever the circumstances, all I have to do is to continue to rest in Him. I have to know that even in my deepest possible pain He is with me and will not forsake me. God will take my weakness as an opportunity to reveal His strength and grace. As Scripture says:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
To my brothers and sisters, it is OK to suffer. Christ suffered as a man just like we will. So why should we be surprised at the frustrations we face? Boasts in your weakness! Not boasting in a whining sort of way, but boast in the fact that God is with you in the midst of all of this. Boast in the fact that He is still in control. Boast in our trials so that as Peter says, “the genuineness of our faith may be found to result in praise, glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Do not be crushed by hard circumstances in 2014. Press on. Continue to rest in the fact that God has a plan for your life, even if you can’t see it in the midst of pain. Rest in the promise of His Word and continue to trust in Him even in the presence of pain.
This year choose to worship joyfully, choose to worship in weakness.