Friday, March 2, 2012

A paradox

I love the paradoxes of the Christian faith. God's ways are so counter-intuitive to us. They are the opposite of what the world espouses. The Puritans laid them out nicely in The Valley of Vision prayer:

"Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision."

Here is another one. "To be weak is to be strong." Try and run that one up the flag pole on Madison Avenue.

Boasting in weakness? Content with weakness? Chosen for weakness? 

Yes, for to be weak is to be strong. Strong means, "I am sufficient. I don't need God. I can manage this one." God can't do anything with that except patiently wait for us to go on in our own strength towards our inevitable fail. Then He graciously comes and says "be weak so that you can be strong in my strength and the strength of my might."

"For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Romans 8:26a. “The Spirit helps us in our weakness.”

1 Corinthians 1:27b. “God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:10. “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses. . . . For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

1 Corinthians 2:3. “I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling.”

1 Corinthians 15:43. “[Our body] is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.”

2 Corinthians 11:30. “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:9. “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.”

2 Corinthians 13:4. “For [Jesus] was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.”

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