Strength Depending on Weakness – The Gospel Coalition Blog

Posted on 02. Aug, 2010 by in Strength in Weakness

I came across the following post at The Gospel Coalition.  I have taken exerpts that I feel give the thrust of the argument, but the whole post is great.

See  Strength Depending on Weakness – The Gospel Coalition Blog.

When we as a human race fell into sin, our affections changed, and we who once had the ability not to sin became a people who could not help but sin and even found pleasure in sin, albeit fleeting pleasure. Sin ravaged our hearts and minds, and, like Tolkien’s Gollum, we began to wallow in the mire of sin-dependent idolatry all the while maintaining our autonomy from God and our supreme, though perceived control over any and all our precious little idols, each of which possessed an uncanny resemblance to ourselves.

When trials and temptations come (and if we’re not spiritually calloused or overly cynical, we’ll notice their hourly arrival) we are faced with the decision as to whether we will depend on self or depend on God–whether we’ll depend on our own means of sustenance and satisfaction that leads to daily death independent of God or whether we’ll depend on God’s means of sustenance and ever-present satisfaction that leads to daily life abundant that is dependent on God….

Meanwhile, our Enemy is content simply to draw our affections to anything but the one true God, and thus to make us less dependent on God and increasingly dependent on ourselves and on our hearts’ precious idols, which will come alive and do our bidding.

While we do indeed become stronger and more mature as a result of life’s daily trials, ultimately, as the adopted children of God our Father, the trials he sovereignly sends our way are not intended to make us stronger but to make us weaker–less dependent on our own strength and more dependent on God and the power of his strength in which we can delightfully and eternally boast as does our brother Paul:

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 (2 Cor. 12:8–10).

Whatever doesn’t kill us, by God’s grace, makes us weaker in our self-dependence and more dependent on the strength of God. And this is all through the One who endured the trial of the Cross so that we might regain life dependent. By His grace we remain utterly dependent as we live justified from faith to faith at the foot of the Cross taking up our own crosses daily and dependently. As it is written, the righteous shall live by faith in God, not faith in self.

In my own life this principle has been very important, and I’ll be sharing more about this later this week.  I hope you all enjoy this post as much as I did.

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4 Responses to “Strength Depending on Weakness – The Gospel Coalition Blog”

  1. Dan Allen 4 August 2010 at 7:40 am #


    Thanks for sharing this post. It made me think about how the first sin was an act of apparent “self-dependence” as opposed to “God-dependence.” Eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge showed that even the first humans were seeking to rely on their own strength as opposed to trusting the Father!

    When we face trials in life we have no choice but to admit our inadequacy and run to God. Sometimes I wish that dependency on Him didn’t have to be learned in such a difficult manner, but I am eternally grateful that God teaches us the great rest and joy of trusting Him and not trying to do things in our own strength!


    • Mark 4 August 2010 at 4:54 pm #

      It is continually amazing how much our nature is given to self-reliance, and like you said, its been a problem since day one. One would logically think that to rest would be easy, but it is not. I guess the longer I walk in Him the easier it gets, but still! Thanks for the comment.


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