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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

Strong in the Lord: When We’re Weak, We’re Strong

by Marilynn Chadwick

Pursue, for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue (1 Samuel 30:8 ESV). 

God is near to the broken hearted. He loves us when we’re weak. But he wants to make us strong. It’s not hard to embrace the concept that God is close to us when we suffer. After all, we love our own children and hold them close when they’re in pain.

We may secretly wonder whether God wants us to remain weak, so we’ll be more dependent upon him. That’s like saying that as a mom, I would rather my children be sick and wounded so they’ll want to hang onto me more. Of course not! I want to help them return to strength so they can live their lives to the fullest.

But I have to admit. I have experienced God’s greatest strength during times when I am broken. I would never have known Jesus as healer if I hadn’t gone through years of infertility and the subsequent healing that resulted in our three children. Nor could I have comprehended God’s mighty power if I hadn’t seen him set me free from stubborn fears. And of course, I could never have grasped his saving grace if I hadn’t come face to face with my condition as a sinner. Perhaps you have your own stories.

Over the next several days, we’ll learn how others have experienced God’s power during times of weakness. We can draw strength from their stories and practical tips from those who have experienced God's strength firsthand.

Let's take a few minutes to reflect further upon David’s encounter with God in 1 Samuel 30. 

We saw in yesterday’s post how, upon returning from battle, David and his mighty men were horrified to find their village raided and burned, their wives and children taken captive by the violent Amalekites. David and his men “wept until they had no more strength to weep” (1 Samuel 30:4). Can you imagine the sound? The despair? The men were so distressed they talked of stoning David. 

What would you do under these circumstances? Where would you turn for strength? Let’s look again at David as our example. One simple sentence says it all: “But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (v. 6).

After seeking the Lord, David receives this answer from the Lord, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue” (v.8). Which is exactly what happened. David and his men defeated the Amalekites and returned with all their family members safe and sound, along with everything that had been stolen. Their victory was triumphant! 

I keep returning to this simple question: How do we strengthen ourselves in the Lord? Perhaps we can now better understand what Paul meant when he said, “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

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