Victory for the Broken

Is Weakness an Obstacle or a Means of Victory?

It seems that the toughest realizations and the worst situations are what bring the greatest strength. There are times where I have felt incredibly distant. Far away. Unreachable. Interestingly enough I almost reveled in my sadness. In fact, I celebrated it, really. I embraced my anxieties. It turns out, though, that those deep set issues were not something to sulk in or encourage, but something I need to fight and release.

Once we conquer the demons that control us, we are set free from our inner bondage. When we can learn to let go of our biggest fears, conquer our insecurities, and overcome what we cannot let go of, we experience a freedom that is incomprehensibly refreshing. Of course, letting go of the dreams and desires that hold us back is no easy task. In fact, it takes an incredible amount of brokenness to show us what needs replaced. In order for me to understand what I have failed in doing, what was haunting me the most, and how to fix it, I had to face the shattered reality in which I live.

Christ doesn’t tell us that life is going to be easy. That the life we live will be a walk of constant joy and satisfaction. Christ does offer incredible comfort when we experience these lows, though. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says,

“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. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Wow.

What an amazing statement. The all-sufficient grace of God is greater than our weaknesses. It’s crazy to think that nothing we do is sufficient enough to properly handle anything. We are weak in the flesh, but through Grace, we find power in Christ. When we are weak, what we accomplish through the faithfulness of God magnifies Him in our life. What a reason to celebrate!! Through our darkest moments, hopelessness may not be the only thing we find, but instead, something far more astounding…hope, peace, and freedom.

Before you give up hope, before you succumb to your greatest fears, before you let someone else dictate your life, and before you decide it’s no longer worth it, do some soul searching. Maybe what you are desiring is not what you truly want. It’s possible what you fear the most, in reality, is like the monster under your bed…unbearably terrifying, but easily overcome once you begin to see the truth. So before you decide you can no longer handle it, think, pray, cry, understand, and then remember that, in the power of Christ, you need not be strong to find victory. You can beat what hurts you the most. Afterward, what you will find is a new opportunity to live the life you were designed to live. Free from fear and hopeful in your future.

Monday Motivation: Seeking Wisdom

“Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”
-1 Kings 3:9 (NLT)

Imagine that you were exploring the attic of your home. Underneath the dust and cobwebs, you see a chest in the corner. You open it up to find a golden lamp-like object. You quickly realize that it may contain a genie and start rubbing the lamp. Sure enough, the genie pops out and offers to grant you three wishes.

Obviously, this scenario is fictional, reserved for fantasy stories and movies, but I think it raises an important question. If you could wish for three things and change or add anything to your life, what would you choose? Money? Fame? Love?

While genies may not come out of bottles in the real world, Solomon really did have a similar experience. In a dream, God told Solomon to ask for what he wanted and God would give it to him.

At this point in time, his father David had just passed away and Solomon had assumed the role of king. He asked God to give him wisdom and discernment, so he would be able to rule God’s people.

God was pleased with Solomon’s answer. He gave Solomon a wise heart, so much so that no one who has or will ever live can be compared to him. God also gave him abundant riches and fame.

In our time, we may not hear God verbally asking us what we want in a dream, but I do believe He cares about our desires and is a loving Father.

That doesn’t mean that God will send money falling from the sky, but He does reward the faithful. We must also remember that God is not a genie. We should never serve God just for the sake of getting something in return – that’s not what a relationship is about. But, I believe that if we ask God for wisdom, He will give it to us.

James 1:5-8 (NLT) says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”

The more we seek after God, the more our hearts become tuned to His ways. The desires of our heart become godly desires when we delight in the Lord (Psalm 37:4).

So don’t be afraid to ask God for anything you lack. If you need financial resources, pray. If you need food, pray. If you need strength, pray.

God doesn’t always answer in the way we expect, but He never fails to provide for His children. God is always faithful and His blessings are incredible.

Questions for Today:

1.) If you could wish for one thing, what would it be?

2.) What character trait or quality would you like to have?

Our goal is to have a new devotional every Monday on Resound.

For daily devotions like this, please feel free to check out my blog, Olden Day Revival.

Taking the First Step… Having Faith to Walk on Water

“Walking on Water”, the latest single from NEEDTOBREATHE, is now playing on Resound Radio.

Here’s a link to their lyric video as well.

The South Carolina natives are known for songs like “Something Beautiful” and “Brother”.

Frontman Bear Rinehart explains that “Walking on the Water” was written with their good friend and fellow musician, Matt Maher.

The inspiration for this song came from Matthew 14. The disciples were out at sea, far from land, in the middle of heavy waves and wind. Suddenly, they see a figure walking toward them on the water.

They think it’s a ghost. The figure starts telling them not to be afraid because he’s Jesus. Then Peter, known for his outspokenness, says, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water,” (14:28).

I can just imagine Peter’s surprise when Jesus tells him to come. Despite being outspoken, I think Peter was just as scared as the other disciples. He probably wasn’t expecting an answer to his bold dare. But nevertheless, he stepped out of the boat and started walking on the water towards Jesus.

Matt Maher says,
“I think in the life of faith, there’s a propensity to sometimes look at things from a glass half empty standpoint. I mean, when you look at the story of Peter walking on water with Jesus, most of us tend to focus on the fact that he sank. Very seldom do we stop and think that a human being actually kept his eyes on God and walked on water.”

I know for sure that I have been guilty of that. If you think about it, how many of us would have the courage to leave the boat? The other disciples didn’t.

Bear Rinehart adds,
“There always seems to be a lot made of his doubt once he realized what was happening, but we feel like the faith and trust it took for him to try it in the first place is worth talking about too.”

When Peter kept his focus on Jesus, he was able to walk on water. The same God who made a way for Peter is the God we serve today.

To Matt Maher, Peter walking on the water “shows the possibilities of what happens when we keep our eyes fixed on love… what we thought was impossible is actually quite possible with the love of God.”

I really love what Bear Rinehart says as well,
We don’t even have to do it right, we just have to take the first step.”

Peter wasn’t perfect, but he was willing to take the first step.

What first steps can you take toward your own future? What classes or activities can you get involved in that will teach you valuable life skills? What job opportunities or mission trips are available? What relationships can you start building right now?

It can be scary when God calls us to the unknown, but all He asks is that we trust Him. It’s okay to make mistakes. There are going to be times we’re uncertain about the future. But, if we’re willing to take the first step, God will see us through.

As NEEDTOBREATHE sings,
There’s no turning back
Nothing in the past
My eyes on You again
Can’t see nothing at all
But Your outstretched arms
Help me believe it
Though I falter
You got me walking on water