I want to tell a story about a woman who telephoned a friend and asked how she was feeling, "Terrible," came the reply over the wire, "my head’s splitting and my back and legs are killing me. The house is a mess, and the kids are simply driving me crazy." Very sympathetically the caller said, "Listen, go and lie down, I’ll come over right away and cook lunch for you, clean up the house, and take care of the children while you get some rest. By the way, how is Sam?" "Sam?" the complaining housewife gasped. "I have no husband named Sam." "My heavens," exclaimed the first woman, "I must have dialed the wrong number." There was a long pause. "Are you still coming over?" the harried mother asked hopefully. There are times that we all feel like we are tired and worn out. We take some time to rest or sleep and that helps to refresh us and restore our strength. What do we do when we are spiritually tired and worn out? What do we do when the fire of our faith is all but burnt out? It’s important to admit your position.
“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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties, for when I am weak, then I am strong,” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.
It’s important to face the fact that we are weak. Weakness means lacking strength, or not able to function properly. This is an adequate description of the human condition because we are indeed lacking in strength and it causes us to live below our abilities. The problem is many times we won’t admit it.
Paul rejoiced in the things that made him weak because those situations became opportunities for Christ’s strength to flow through him. When we are weak and allow God to fill us with His power, we become stronger than we ever could be on our own. The first step to finding God’s strength is to admit that you are in need of His strength. Accept Christ’s partnership "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For, my yoke is easy and my burden is light," Matthew 11:28-30.
In Biblical times, the yoke was used to connect a team of two oxen to a plow or a cart. The connection was essential to get work accomplished. A yoke was a team of oxen and the burden of the work or the load was shared. It would be far easier for two to complete the work than just one. So, if we are to take on God’s yoke are we in it alone? No!
He gives us a partner to share in the work and to help bear the load. Who is it? Jesus is our partner.
Christ is calling for you to accept His partnership in your life. Allow Him to help you bear your burdens and carry the load.
In talking about a fantastic exchange, whenever we travel overseas as I have to various countries in the past, I remember having to exchange my American dollars for whatever foreign currency of that country. We all like it when the dollar is strong and we can get a lot more money when we exchange it and go on some great shopping sprees. Well, we experience “a fantastic exchange” when we give God our weakness and receive His supernatural strength! Let’s position our hearts to receive God’s Power “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)
God places one requirement for strength. We must hope in Him.God is our greatest hope in this life because He alone is the author and creator of hope. It is in Him that we find meaning and purpose in life. We find the courage to live from Him.
Depending on what translation of the Bible you have, the nature of this hope, the verse states in different ways. The King James Version uses the term “wait” in this verse. The meaning is essentially that we are to wait on God and the implication is that we trust God to be faithful.
The New International Version uses the term “hope” in this same verse. The meaning is essentially that God gives us hope and the implication is that we rely on God to be faithful. Either way the implications are the same. God always has been and always will be faithful. God can be trusted and we can depend on Him God makes a fantastic exchange. God will renewyour strength. The word “renew” literally means to “exchange” and the Hebrew reference was applied to the CHANGING OF CLOTHES. The spiritual meaning of this is that God will exchange our weakness for His strength.
In Conclusion, I have an insect fact for you that helps give us a spiritual insight as well. John Henry Fabre, the great French naturalist, conducted a most unusual experiment with some Processionary Caterpillars. These caterpillars blindly followed the one in front of them. Fabre carefully arranged them in a circle around the rim of a flowerpot, so that the lead caterpillar actually touched the last one, making a complete circle. In the center of the flowerpot he put pine needles, which is food for the Processionary Caterpillar. The caterpillars started around this circular flowerpot. Around and around they went, hour after hour, day after day, and night after night. For seven full days and seven full nights they went around the flowerpot. Finally, they dropped dead of starvation and exhaustion. With an abundance of food less than six inches away, they literally starved to death, because they confused activity with accomplishment. (www.a90daychange.com/John_Henry_Fabre.doc) We are doing the same thing when we go on day after day without going to God for strength. We are literally doing nothing but going through spiritual motions that take us in one big circle after another. Is it any wonder that we are tired and spiritually exhausted? Don’t you think that you need to make a change? We need to remember that we serve a God who wants to overflow the cup of our lives with His strength. Do you need Christ’s strength? Do you have a relationship with Christ? If you want this incredible life connection with God simply tell Him you need Him and He will come and give you life like you’ve never known before. If you know Jesus, do you want a renewed relationship with Him? Today, do you need to change your clothes? Let’s God renew your strength. He wants to exchange your spiritual clothes and give you His strength for your weakness.