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Strength and Weakness

“ [‘For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.’ (2 Cor 13:4]…This is a difficult passage which causes problems for many people. What is meant here by “weakness”? In Scripture weakness can refer to bodily illness, and it can also mean not being securely grounded in faith. But there is a third possibility, and that is what we find here. Weakness can mean persecutions, trials, plottings, and the like. Christ was not weak in body or in spirit, but He was persecuted and put to death. It was not because of any inherent weakness that He went to the cross; on the contrary, He chose to die in that way in order to give us life in the power of God.” (St. John Chrysostom)

“Christ always comes to us in weakness so as never to force Himself on us. Domination is not the way of divine love. Christ lets love and truth alone draw us to purity of life. Only a living Lord is able to raise us from the death of sin to newness of life (Rom 6:6-8). Christ’s love offers the greatest power to enable and support. He enables us to yield ourselves “as instruments of righteousness to God,” never permitting “sin to have dominion over” us (2 Cor 13:13-14). Let us pray for Christ to live within us; let Him become the governing truth in our life; let Him shape our every decision and choice with His light and love. If we find His presence growing dim, then we are to light the lamp, sweep the house, and search diligently until we have found the coin of His presence again (Lk 15:8).” (Dynamis 9/22/2021)

“There is a temptation for Christians to take up the challenge and play for power. I suggest that such a use of power is a devil’s bargain, indeed, the last temptation faced by Christ (Matt. 4:8-10). It should be noted clearly: no one can be made or forced to love God. God competes only through His weakness, something that often causes His enemies to rejoice and His friends to cry, “Foul!” I can only argue that He knows what He is doing.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Sometimes the Lord lets us come to the end of our own resources precisely so that we can slow down and realize, It’s okay to be me; it’s okay to be limited; it’s even okay to be weak and vulnerable. Not only are these conditions okay, but they are precisely the things God uses to accomplish His redemptive purposes in and through us. It is in our weakness that God’s love, power, and promises can begin to manifest within us….God is not intimidated by our weaknesses. He doesn’t choose us because we are strong, but because we are available—weaknesses and all.” (Robin Phillips, Dynamis 8/20/2018)

“We will not eliminate suffering. Such a power has not been given to us. We can indeed do many things, though the truly great will be those who did them in union with the Cross rather than in union with the power of the world. The true battle is being waged in the human heart. The Cross always appears to be weakness and foolishness – and thus its followers must be willing to become weak fools.…strength in spiritual warfare sometimes appears as weakness to the world.” (Father Stephen Freeman, Orthodox Study Bible, 2 Corinthians 10:1)

“Above all, pray, and the merciful Lord will give you strength of spirit. With such strength, when others marvel at your misfortunes, they will seem like nothing to you.” (St. Theophan the Recluse)

“I have learned that out of the painful crucible of my own suffering, I was able to find within me a well-spring of strength that I never knew I possessed. I acquired a deepened understanding of the human condition, a greater sensitivity and compassion for the sufferings of others, and a heightened ability to share with others my conviction in the sureness of ultimate victory. Indeed, I would be reluctant to avoid the trials of my past if, at the same time, it meant that I would have to surrender their many personal gifts that now have come to grace and enrich the whole of my life.” (Rev. Andrew Demotses)

“Someone has said that when we work, we work; but when we pray, God works. His supernatural strength is available to praying people who are convinced to the core of their beings that He can make a difference.” (Bill Hybels)

“Christ provides you strength you never thought possible in circumstances you never thought you could endure when you simply do what He says (Matthew 7:24-25).” (Sacramental Living Blog)

“O Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your Holy will. In every hour of the day reveal Your will to me. Bless my dealings with all who surround me. Teach me to treat all that comes to me throughout the day with peace of soul, and with the firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unforeseen events, let me not forget that all are sent by You. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me strength to bear the fatigue of this coming day with all that it shall bring. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray You Yourself in me.” (Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow)

“God’s answer to Jesus’ prayer did not allow His Son to avoid suffering. However, God did provide angelic help for Jesus to face what was coming. Sometimes God answers prayer by eliminating trials; sometimes He answers by strengthening us in the midst of them.” (Foundation Study Bible, Luke 22:43)

“I firmly believe that having faith does not make one immune to life’s disappointments, but gives us the strength to endure and overcome them, because faith focuses us on the forever, not the temporary.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“To do God’s work we need special guidance from the Holy Spirit. We must avoid trying to do His work in our own strength…God always gives us the strength to accomplish what He asks us to do.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 20:22, Ezekiel 2:3-5)

“...the Lord acts with us. He supports us every instant, strengthens us, but most often in a way that we do not notice. The Lord gives to us a chance to make an effort, to learn something, to experience something that brings us close to Him.” (Hieromonk Nektary)

“By hope we are empowered to confidently trust that all the good things promised us by God we shall obtain; that we will never be without the light and strength we need to fulfill the will of God; that no trials that God sends us will be greater than, with His grace, we can bear” (Father John Hardon)

“We are all weak in some areas and strong in others. Our faith is strong in an area if we can interact with sinful people without falling into their patterns. It is weak in an area if we must avoid certain activities, people, or places in order to protect our spiritual life. It is important to take a self-inventory in order to find out our strengths and weaknesses.” (Life Application Study Bible, Romans 14:1) “

Let’s strengthen ourselves for the difficult moments of life. Let’s keep our ears and hearts open to our Lord’s voice, and for the joy set before us, endure the cross…Focus on Christ, practice the disciplines of the faith, and have confidence that God will give strength and endurance.” (Father Barnabas Powell)

“Why do you worry and grieve more than necessary for the various incidents? We are not outside of Divine Providence, so as to be directed by mere chance. Therefore, whatever happens to us happens with God’s knowledge, and so nothing will happen to us beyond our strength!” (Elder Ephraim of Arizona)

“God may not get us out of a situation, but He will give us the strength to get through it.” (JESUS SAVES (@Godly_Life)

“Do not let pass any opportunity to pray for anyone, either at his request or at the request of his relatives, friends, of those who esteem him, or of his acquaintances. The Lord looks favorably upon the prayer of our love, and upon our boldness before him. Besides this, prayer for others is very beneficial to the one himself who prays for others; it purifies the heart, strengthens faith and hope in God, and enkindles our love for God and our neighbor.” (St. John of Kronstadt)

“True strength is found in understanding our weakness and Christ’s sufficiency.” (Foundation Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 4:10)

“Some people think that belief in God is a crutch for weak people who cannot make it on their own. God is indeed a shield to protect us when we are too weak to face certain trials by ourselves, but He does not want us to remain weak. He strengthens, protects, and guides us..." (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 18:30)

"Whatever we may encounter in our life, if we can humbly meet it with a certainty that God loves us, that God wills our salvation, and that somehow He is in control of everything (even the bad), then like the Canaanite woman we will be able to receive that precious gift of humility that enables us to have our prayers answered before God. This makes us strong with His strength, and that will lead us to the Kingdom of heaven." (Archimandrite Sergius)

“Trusting in our own powers, we feel little need of God. To avoid this trap, we must realize that all our strengths are God’s gifts to us, and we must dedicate those strengths to His service…When we place confidence in our own intelligence, appearance, or accomplishments instead of in God, we risk torment later when these strengths fade.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 4:3-44, Isaiah 50:10-11)

“True strength is found in understanding our weakness and Christ’s sufficiency…True inner strength is the work of the Holy Spirit.” (Foundation Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 4:10, OCPM 9/23/2015)

“The Holy Spirit gives strength to endure the unreasonable hatred and evil in our world and the hostility many have toward Christ." (Life Application Study Bible, John 15:26)

"The soul of a humble man is like the sea: throw a stone into the sea—for a moment it will ruffle the surface a little, and then sink to the bottom. Thus do afflictions disappear down into the heart of the humble man, because the strength of the Lord is with him." (St. Silouan the Athonite)

“Circumstances don’t make a man, they reveal him. Like teabags, our real strength comes out when we get into hot water." (J. Allan Petersen)

"My grave is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (Jesus Christ)

“The Greek word translated as"made perfect” is teleiotheis, which means"to be completed.” Being completed as a human person is a labor of restoration, a process of reassigning thoughts, inclinations, desires, and actions to their rightful place and function. And who does this for us? We look to God, of course, for He can make perfect even"in a short time”. He is ready to complete us if we will work with Him.” (Dynamis 12/9/2013)

"...why do you think Jesus Christ came into this world through a pregnant, unwed teenage girl in a patriarchal shame-and-honor culture? God didn’t have to do it that way. But I think it was his way of saying, ‘I don’t do things the way the world expects, but in the opposite way altogether. My power is made perfect in weakness.’ ” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“...Providence often chooses to work through weakness rather than strength.” (James Stuart Bell)

"Often we are tempted not through our weaknesses, but through our strengths… When we are strong in abilities or resources, we are tempted to do God’s work on our own, and that can lead to pride. When we are weak, allowing God to fill us with his power, then we are stronger than we could ever be on our own.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 4:3. 2 Corinthians 12:10)

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