We are constantly put to the test. If we have chosen to live this Way of Life, that is, a life pleasing to God based on what He commands, then we face many challenges and our inner strength will also be put to the test. To conquer our weaknesses is the challenge. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Here was Paul, an apostle of God, admitting that he had weaknesses and only through his weaknesses could he become strong. The weakness he had didn’t make him strong, but overcoming it gave him that strength. He knew of course that only through God’s help could he attain that strength. God gave him His strength, because without it, he could do nothing, but with it, he could do everything. This is very relevant for us today since we all have weaknesses that we must fight to overcome. It is nothing that is easily overcome, but only through faith, prayer, and repentance. If we didn’t have any weaknesses, then we would be perfect, and we know that that is not the case, since none of us are perfect.
Every person in the Bible had a weakness, even some of the greatest, who were men of God. They too had to struggle continuously to overcome their weaknesses and they also had to experience punishment by God to make them stronger. Many of them went through trials that seemed impossible to get through, but strength was on their side.
Job had many trials. He lost everything – his family and his possessions, and his health was also affected, but even after all that, he wasn’t angry towards God. However, he did have a weakness and that was his self-righteousness, which he did eventually overcome by acknowledging God’s power, and as a result, received back more than he had before his trials.
Samson had an incredible gift from God, which he took for granted. His weakness was women. They were more important to him than God, and every time he got into trouble, he never looked to God for help, but decided to fight his own battles instead. As a result, he lost his life. But before he died, he realized what his sin was and repented of it. He had finally overcome his weakness.
Moses had a weakness, that of anger. It is very easy to get angry and anger could be very difficult to control. Do you consider yourself easily tempered? Do we sometimes make others angry by what we may say or do? Have we noticed that it is more work to be happy than to be angry? Why is that? Because we are living in Satan’s world, and he is just the opposite of peace and tranquility. Have we noticed how much more of an effort it is to maintain peace? When something goes wrong, what is our initial reaction? Do we have thoughts of doubt, worry and discouragement during tough times? It’s all about how we control ourselves. What would Christ do in this situation?
“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: ‘Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth’; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously… Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. For ‘[h]e who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it’” (1 Peter 2:21-23; 3:8-11).
Unfortunately, there were some who were not strong enough, and as a result, they just gave up completely, like that which happened to King Saul. We have to make sure that we don’t fall into that category. Judas had a weakness that he did not overcome, and that was money. He betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14-15). He was greedy for money, and that was very dangerous because riches had the better of him—just like the one individual who asked Christ in Matthew 19 what he could do to inherit eternal life and when Christ told him to sell everything he had and give it to the poor, he didn’t want to do it because money was more important to him.
Sometimes, we may feel that when times are really tough, we aren’t being blessed, but think of it as more of a test that we need to overcome. And remember, we DO have help from God (compare Romans 8:26-27). Each one of us is unique. We all have various strengths and weaknesses. Each one of us is aware what they are and we all know what it is that we must work on. If there is a certain weakness we have trouble with, we should make it a priority to overcome it. Satan is very intelligent, let us not forget that. He will attack us on the very things where we are most vulnerable.
We are called out of this world for a reason and Satan knows it, which is why we need to be vigilant at ALL times. But he can only do what God allows. Think of what happened to Job. God allowed Job’s trials to teach him a lesson! Yes, we are all going through trials, and yes, there are reasons for them. Again, we are the few that God has chosen and Satan knows that too, and the trials that we go through are different than those outside the Church of God because when we have been called to the Truth, we are in a separate category and we are not controlled by time and chance. God is aware of everything we go through, every trial, for our benefit. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). We still need to overcome our weaknesses and replace them with righteousness. And once we do that, God will be pleased, and so will we.