Tag: Strength

The Wall

Vance Havnerby Vance Havner

For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. Isaiah 25:4

How often in the loneliness and strain of our work, when foes, seen and unseen, beset us, we have been conscious of an invisible wall, the angel of the Lord encamping round about us to deliver us. Often we have been helpless, with no strength of our own against the enemy. Yet we have been able to lie down and sleep, conscious that our Keeper never slumbers.

The wall” is a good figure, for we need not be roofed in overhead. Satan can surround us but he cannot roof us over, and we need the upward look unobstructed. Never has God’s wall broken down, nor has the Adversary breached it. Because it is invisible, the devil would have us fear it is not there; but it is. He can come so far but no farther.

If ever we needed a wall, it is now. The hosts of evil are making their worst mad assaults, and no ramparts of our own can avail. But we have a fortress, a hiding place, a Rock of Ages. Are you hid with Christ in God?

by Vance Havner

Christ Shining Through Our Sufferings

David Wilkersonby David Wilkerson

No one on earth can place you in ministry. You may be given a diploma by a seminary, ordained by a bishop, or commissioned by a denomination. But Paul reveals the only source of any true call to ministry: “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” (1 Timothy 1:12).

What does Paul mean here when he says Jesus enabled him and counted him faithful? Three days after the apostle’s conversion, Christ placed Paul in the ministry — specifically, the ministry of suffering: “For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake” (Acts 9:16). This is the very ministry Paul refers to when he says, “Therefore, since we have this ministry” (2 Corinthians 4:1). He continues, “As we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.” He is talking about the ministry of suffering and he makes it clear that it is a ministry we all possess.

Paul tells us that Christ pledged to remain faithful to him and enable him through all his trials. The Greek word for “enable” means a continual supply of strength. So, Paul is saying, “Jesus promised to give me more than sufficient strength for the journey. He enables me to remain faithful in this ministry and because of him, I won’t faint or give in!”

By his own admission, Paul was not an eloquent speaker. He had cast aside all his worldly training and his own human brilliance. He said he preached through weakness, in fear and trembling. Even Peter said Paul spoke things that were hard to understand (see 2 Peter 3:15-16). His ministry was the outshining of Christ — which was produced in him through great sufferings. This great apostle impacted his age incredibly and continues to impact even our generation by the way he responded to his trials.

Paul often spoke of “Christ in me” by which he meant, “You see a human being standing before you. But God has led me through great trials, and those sufferings have produced in me the character of Christ. That’s what you see shining from my life. Only the faithful enabler can produce this in a life; only he can give his servants a song and a testimony in the midst of every trial.” Hallelujah!

by David Wilkerson