Our hopelessness and our helplessness are no barrier to (God’s) work. Indeed our utter incapacity is often the prop He delights to use for His next act… We are facing one of the principles of Yahweh’s modus operandi. When His people are without strength, without resources, without hope, without human gimmicks – then He loves to stretch forth His hand from heaven. Once we see where God often begins we will understand how we may be encouraged.
There is always design in our distress. God so values our trust in Him alone that He will graciously take away everything else in the world that we might be tempted to rely on: even life itself if necessary. His desire is that we grow deeper and stronger in our confidence that He Himself is all we need.
If only for a moment, take your eyes off yourself and your circumstances, off the ways of this world and all rival claimants, and look at who God is. Ponder His mighty deeds. This isn’t to say your soul or circumstances aren’t important. It simply means that you are in the hands of an omnipotent God whose ability to act on your behalf is equaled only by His passionate affection for you as His child, whose strength is without end and whose sovereignty covers the expanse of the heavens. God’s desire isn’t to minimize your life and struggles and disappointments. His intent is for you to gain hope, knowing that nothing can wrench you from the loving arms of a God like this!
Self-sufficient Christians are weak, easily deceived, ineffective in service, easily angered, over-confident, and ruled by their emotions. Insufficient Christians, who know they can do nothing outside the power and strength that Christ gives, are actually strong, because the power of God flows through their utter dependence on Him.
Cultivate your trust and familiarity with the Lord in prayer now so that when the hammer comes down, when the dam bursts, and when the earthquake hits, the door to the throne room of God is well-oiled and will open easily when you run through it.
If you are not feeding your soul on the realities of the presence, promises, and provisions of Christ, you will ask the people, situations, and things around you to be the messiah that they can never be. If you are not attaching your identity to the unshakable love of your Savior, you will ask the things in your life to be your Savior, and it will never happen. If you are not requiring yourself to get your deepest sense of well-being vertically, you will shop for it horizontally, and you will always come up empty. If you are not resting in the one true gospel, preaching it to yourself over and over again, you will look to another gospel to meet the needs of your unsettled heart.
It is foolish for humans, including God’s people, to imagine that they are self-sufficient. God does not help those who help themselves. Rather, He helps those who cannot help themselves, know it, and rely on Him.
If we think we are usually good, then God is usually irrelevant… Such thinking ignores the depths of sin in my own heart, and, in essence, it elevates me so that I am just a mildly flawed imitation of God rather than someone completely dependent on Him.