Yesterday I came to a point of wanting to not care any more. I can admit that, right? Sometimes, as a preacher, I feel like I have to be Superman, but I am just human, I am vulnerable, I am still weak, and I am still a man in need of a savior. And yesterday, helpless, exhausted (I still am this), frustrated, weak, I cried out to the Lord. None of my plans had come to fruition, none of my rest that I was counting on happened, I felt helpless, powerless, and without any strength. I felt physically, emotionally, and spiritually numb.
So what did I do? I cried out. I cried out to God again and again. I asked for help again and again, and though what I asked for didn't come as I expected, again and again, God answered. He answered through our church family, who came to our rescue, he answered through helps that were desperately needed, he answered through friends who called in to see how I was doing, and he answered through peace and perseverance that I could not understand. In my desperation, in my lack of strength, in my lack of capacity, He was my strength.
Too often, I think that we try and rely on ourselves too much. We say worldly slogans like "you have this," or "you're strong enough," or "you just do you." This isn't how Jesus lived, and this isn't how we should. Even through temptation, the Gospels tell us Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit. In trial, pain, persecutions, and preaching, Jesus and His followers depended on the Holy Spirit. They relied on the Word of God and God's Promised Help to comfort them, If this is how Scripture tells us they lived, how, then, should we live? We should live to see God's will be done. We should live in the shelter of the Father, like Jesus in accordance with the Scriptures, through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. This world is not our home. We should live IN and FOR the One who rescues us.
2 Corinthians 1:3-11
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 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.