How You Can Have Strength in Adversity
By Daniel Amstutz
Even in my weakness, He is strong!
In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient (enough) for you, for MY STRENTH is made perfect in weakness,” (emphasis mine).
The words, “made perfect” in the original Greek mean “to accomplish, bring to a successful conclusion, reach a goal, and fulfill.” Isn’t that good?
God is saying His grace is enough for you because His strength will bring you to a successful conclusion in the midst of your weakness. You will reach your goal—fulfill and accomplish what God put in your heart!
You may not be old enough to remember a song we used to sing in the early charismatic movement called, “The Joy of the Lord Is My Strength.” We sang it a lot, and the idea often associated with it was to act happy, put a smile on your face and eventually everything would turn around for you.
While I’m sure it helped, the joy of the Lord is not something natural; it is extremely supernatural! And for us today, joy is just one of the benefits of God living in us. We are new creations! Living from the outside in will not bless you. We have to learn to live daily from the inside out.
In John 15:11, Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you that MY JOY may remain IN YOU and that YOUR JOY may be full.”
What was HIS JOY?
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who FOR THE JOY THAT WAS SET BEFORE HIM, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” —Hebrews 12:2 (emphasis mine)
Jesus already had a place at the right hand of God and had already been declared the “beloved Son in whom the Father was well pleased,” but what He didn’t have yet was you and me. We were the joy that was set before Him, and it helped Him fully pay the price for us to have relationship with Him.
Relationship with us was the joy that was set before Him. So the joy of the Lord is relationship with us! This is our strength, even in our weakness—even in adversity.
“But at midnight (after being beaten and thrown into prison) Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God and the prisoners were listening to them.” —Acts 16:25