A little strength? Don’t settle

help me hand She stood on her tip-toes. Then she stood on the seat. She struggled and heaved and pushed, but she still couldn’t squeeze her heavy suitcase into the overhead bin on the airplane.

Finally, the gentleman sitting beside me stood up, and with a few gentle shoves, pushed the lady’s suitcase the rest of the way in.

There are some things you just can’t do on our own, no matter how hard you try, or what angle you approach it. 

You need help. Everybody does.

When it’s physical, you call on an extra set of muscles for help. But when it’s spiritual, and you call on the Lord for help, how does he answer you?

Sometimes he sends someone else to stand beside you to lift up the heavy suitcase and put it where it belongs.

Other times, not. So how is he helping you then?

In Chapter 3 of Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, Jeremiah Burroughs addresses this very question. He says the carnal heart not only sees no answer, but finds even the question itself ridiculous.

His answer? Faith. When we have faith that there indeed IS one strong enough to handle our burden, we are then graced with that same strength ourselves.

And not only will we receive strength enough to endure, but to endure with joy. Because of faith. Because we believe that He can do this for us.

If the burden becomes doubled, Burroughs says, then the strength is tripled. The strength will always outweigh the burden, if you get your strength from Jesus.

So when you cry out, “I can’t bear this!”, do you think Christ could not bear it? If he could bear it, why do you not think he will help you bear it, too? Scripture testifies over and over that Christ’s strength is yours and that God himself is your strength.

Don’t settle for a little strength. That is what the carnal man can do—by reason and nature alone. Instead, draw upon the great strength that comes directly from Jesus. Together you’ll lift the suitcase. And do it with joy.

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.
Colossians 1:11

More on Chapter 3
Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

5 comments:

Lisa writes... said...

Good stuff. Thanks for sharing.

Young Wife said...

This is a very timely blog post for me. Thanks for the encouragement!

Renee said...

This is great encouragement for me right now. I have been trying to heal from Chronic Lyme disease and just 2 weeks ago my husband was also diagnosed with it. It is hard to not worry over how we will cope now with two of us sick. Not on our strength alone, that is for sure. What you say here is another loving reminder from God that by HIS strength we will be able to embrace and find joy within our circumstances.

Jude St.John said...

Well written and very much enjoyed. I'll be back next week.

Laurie M. said...

Wow! How did you sum that up so sweetly?!

Every time I read this section I'm reminded of that Augustine quote:
"Give what you command, and command what you will."
and of course, Paul: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me", which I've no doubt is what Burroughs had in mind when he penned this.

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