“This is a startling revelation for Christians, but we will always be tempted in the area of our weakness…(God) is setting us up to succeed. The only way we can truly succeed is by confronting our weaknesses and overcoming them” (Robert Morris).
Does the above statement depress you as much as it did me? My first thought was it doesn’t seem fair. Why?? Selfishly, I want to know if I work hard at overcoming something difficult, that it’ll be gone forever and I can move on to working on overcoming a new challenge. However, the more I think about the above statement, the happier I am. What I first read as a way of God being mean, I now see as another way God shows His love for us.
Think about it this way. Everything we do in life has to be taught first. Did we walk automatically or did we have to practice over and over until we finally figured out how to balance our weight and coordinate our steps to guide us where we wanted to go? What about eating? How many cute videos are there of babies missing their mouths, learning what is their favorite and not so favorite foods? Talking? Nothing is sweeter than the cute little phrases each and every one of us use that are unique to our own families. By the same token, though, there isn’t a greater boost to our self-esteem or a happier look on a child’s face when they’ve mastered a skill they’ve been working on. As a parent, we’re there to provide opportunities for our children to learn these skills and then rejoice with them at their accomplishments. We provided guidance, encouragement, and support, but it was our children who put in the hard work and achieved the goal.
That, to a degree, is the happiness I felt when I read the above statement a second time. When I grasped the fact God loves us enough to guide, encourage, and provide the opportunities for us to overcome, I was able to view achieving victory regarding our weaknesses from a different perspective. When we work hard at something, even if we fail repeatedly before we obtaining success, we receive so many rewards as a result. We are given opportunities to stretch our faith, grow in trust of our Heavenly Father, and here’s one I continually work on, refine our self control.
Does that mean it’s always easy? No. But that makes victory taste even sweeter. The greater the sacrifice, the better it feels to overcome. And, here’s the best part, even if it doesn’t always feel like the best. After having achieved victory in some area of my life, the fact I’m still tempted to a lesser degree, less often, the pull of that temptation draws me that much closer to God. It’s a reminder I need to ask for God’s strength on a daily basis and keep a thankful spirit in my heart as I remember what God has brought me through.
And that, my friends, is why the second time I read that statement my depression turned to a smile. If my previous weakness will stick around just enough to point me in the direction of seeking God on a daily basis – well, then I guess it’s not so bad after all.
© 2013 Cheri Swalwell