1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
Do not waste your weaknesses and flaws. As much as it might be hard work re-orienting how we see our weaknesses, do not hide from them or quickly shuffle them under nice categories in your mind.
Rather explore those weaknesses.
Become intimate with your weaknesses, which are likely symptoms. More importantly, get to know the root issues. Of course, I would ask that you apply caution and wisdom if diving into these things brings an unhealthy level of condemnation. If so, I suggest you dive into these things with someone who can help mediate the grace of God to you
Ps 139:23-24 is always helpful for me when I engage in some soul searching. I am reminded that this is not a witch hunt but a “knowing” that is empowered by the Holy Spirit. He is the one doing the searching (more like unveiling) and he is the one that determines the way we should go.
Ps 46:1 speaks of God as a companion who is exceedingly available to us, especially in the midst of trouble. It’s like he can’t wait to help but please remember that He is the Sovereign King and how he decides to help is best. He will not necessarily conform to what you want, and He acts in love not simply to play games or punish. Maybe the right approach is to be humble enough to receive his help because if we could fix things, we would’ve already.
Be humble – admit your powerlessness and cry to Him for help. There is little need for dramatics, only an honest longing is required.
This is the first step in not wasting your weaknesses. Humility is a real and intent filled preference for the way of God. Desire his way of doing things, get wisdom through the mundane routine activities you engage in.
Verse 2 to 3 aptly describes what we are familiar with and we only need look at our lives, especially our inner world and we see traces, if not the the same picture portrayed in the aforementioned verses. These verses point to the instability of the world all around us. It’s almost like things are moving in reverse of creation language in Genesis. Something de-creation like seems to be happening.
In verse 4, the “there is” is actually not present in the original language and it is added as an interpretive rendering. When you remove it, it becomes clear that the raging seas in verse 2 to 3 is what God has made into a river (and we get this impression of a calm, gently flowing, powerful, yet life giving river) that makes glad the dwelling place of the Most High. The city of God likely refers to the temple of God, a place of worship and we have become temples of the Most High if we are in Him.
So the raging waters become an instrument in the hand of God. Now do you see why verses 2-3 speaks of not being afraid because of verse 1, where God actively seeks to be known by you?
And this is exactly why I believe we are not to waste our weaknesses
John Newton said “Everything is necessary that he sends. Nothing can be necessary that he withholds!” and I couldn’t have said it better. Yes it can be a difficult truth but it is a liberating one. All that is happening to you is to make you become more Christlike, if you would let God use it
We see a similar cry from Paul in 2 For 12:7-10
Let God leverage your weaknesses to make you into who he intends you to be.
Now, how might that happen?
Fortunately, there is no formula or x steps to take but a process, and a journey that takes place in the mundane routine acts of your life.
Here are some guidelines I am learning about on my journey with him:
1. Take time to reflect and contemplate the realities around you through the lens of God’s word and principles. To do this means you must have some margin and space in your life to be quiet
2. Hang on to the grace and truth of God. Arm yourself with truth from scriptures of his undying love for you.
3. Be objective about yourself. Be brutally honest with yourself. Apply truth rigorously to every area of your life. This you can do with God’s help
4. Know that it is a process, you will fall many times but his grace is abundant – Rom 5:17.
Trust me, you will need His grace.
You will come to see that you are more of a sinner than you ever understood (Jer 2:13, Jer 13:26, Jer 17:9, etc.) and you are more loved than you can begin to imagine (John 3:16, Isa 43:1-7, Isa 49, etc).
5. Keep moving on. God will never give up on you. I know this, for it is impossible for one who is love (not that he has love) to give up on his beloved.
Know that if there was an easier way for God to make you into who he intends you than the process you are in, he would rake that road. Why? Because he is love and love compels him to do so.
In the same breath, know that he is more than willing to take you through the wilderness (Hosea 2:14-15) if that is the way to make you into Christlikeness. Why? Because he is love and love compels him to do so.
Here is a great article that inspired this post: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/don-t-waste-your-weaknesses-in-2014
May you always be with God as he is with you