When Pain and Faith Collide

When pain and faith collide
The one absorbs the other.
But not without an impact
That shakes us to the core.

We walk as if omnipotent
Forgetting that we’re frail.
Until that trying moment
We’re broken, hurt, and sore.

It can come in many ways,
But never goes unnoticed.
As with perfect strategy
It weakens where we’re strong.

Our thoughts become unclear
When hit while unaware.
And brings to mind our sins,
As we barely scrape along.

Then in our shaken voice
Our faith lets out a groan.
And thunders cross the heavens,
As by Him, it’s supplied.

For faith is the power
That overcomes the world.
And the one absorbs the other
When pain and faith collide.

-Doug Eaton

Finding Hope in Weakness

Image result for Strength of my heart

And he [Samson] was sore athirst, and called on the LORD, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant: and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised? Judges 15:18

It seems that many times when we have been strengthened by God and have done something great for the Lord, we soon afterward find ourselves confounded by our weakness. That is why this passage about Samson is so encouraging. Here is a man that, by the strength of God, defeated many of the enemies of Israel, and then, moments later, finds himself about to die from the lack of something as simple as water. When God gives us some sort of victory in doing His work, it is easy to begin to see ourselves as stronger than we really are. So the Lord often allows situations to arise that keep us dependent upon Him. We often thank the Lord for His grace in times of triumph, but how often do we forget to thank Him for our times of defeat. If all things actually work for the good of those that love Him, then grace comes in many forms. It comes in strength, but it also comes in defeats by showing us our weaknesses.

When we are on top, it is easy to begin to think that this is where true life and happiness are to be found. We start to crave more of it. Success breeds the desire for more success. Until, if God does not show us our weaknesses, we begin to think that this is what we need to be happy. We start to believe that this is what life is about, and without it, contentment starts to disappear. In weakness, Christ calls out to us and says, don’t find your hope and peace in the good or the bad times, find it in Me, I am your salvation. Experiencing weakness has a way of shaking from our hands many of the earthly things we think we need because, through grace, it causes us to set our eyes on eternity, by realizing that we are not invincible.

I can remember one beautiful summer night we had a barbeque with the family. It was one of those times when you are usually at peace enjoying the cool summer evening. But this particular night I was miserable. I had been suffering from a chronic illness for some time. I didn’t know if I would ever have enjoyment again, but I remember at that moment, a thought came to me about finding my sufficiency in Christ. It didn’t matter if, through suffering, I would ever enjoy another moment of this life. I have Christ! What else do I need? Our real victory is not found in the conditions of this life, even if our victories are Godly. Our victory is found in Christ.

When the Lord opens up the hollow place, like he did to give Samson water, and the truths of Christ’s sufficiency begins to run toward us, we find ourselves revived even when the land is still parched.

D. Eaton

Strength for the Weary

As I sat there I could feel my body trembling. It was as if it was having trouble supporting its own weight. I wondered if it would ever end. I knew I had felt like this many times before, and He always brought me through. The problem is the weakness of my body also has the tendency to bring down my spirits as well. I even felt the failures of my past as if they were fresh. I wondered where this was leading. What was the purpose of it all? My soul was starving, and I was desperately looking for something to give it strength.

As I sat there I was surrounded by people who had no idea how I was feeling. What they saw was a man in business attire who had just come from a day of work, and he had a smile on his face. What they didn’t know was that smile was forced, which can be both a bother and a blessing.

Then it happened, one of the people I was supposed to be leading read a passage of scripture, and six words burned in my ears. “He gives strength to the weary.” At that moment the Spirit illuminated that truth in my soul.  Even with my body still struggling to find its strength, my heart was lifted up with hope and comfort.  “He gives strength to the weary,” and I was weary: I qualified. The amazing thing is that the way He chose to do it was by simply reminding me of this truth in His word. It took no special mending of my body, nor did I need to be propped up with the things of this world.  He did it all with the power of His word. It is true, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” My soul was starving and it had found its nourishment.

I don’t know where you are, but if you are child of God through faith and you find yourself weary, worn, and ready to give up, I want to remind you that He gives strength to the weary. My prayer is that He is doing it right now: that He is using this devotion to infuse you with faith and fortitude.  Know this, one day you will look back on this situation, whether in this life or on the beautiful shores of eternity, and you will say, “He pulled me through. He gave me the strength I needed.” The One in whom you trust does not faint or grow weary, and His understanding is unsearchable.

He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak. – Isaiah 40:29

D. Eaton