“And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling,
and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom,
but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:3-5
A dear friend who is a local pastor here in our area reached out to me this past week with the following devotion by JI Packer. He had read it for his morning devotions and thought it might encourage my heart. Boy was he right! I’d like to share it with you.
Paul knew he was going to look silly in the eyes of the Corinthians. All right! He was prepared for that. He was going to rely on the Lord to honor his own Word. He told the Corinthians that he deliberately turned his back on philosophical & oratorical fireworks, resolving to speak plainly & simply trust the Holy Spirit to demonstrate, confirm, & authenticate the divine truth that he had brought.
He was trusting God’s power, not his own cleverness. But Paul did feel a bit of a fool. That is what the words weakness & fear point to. Knowing that he would offend the Corinthians by not pandering to Greek intellectual conceit, he felt vulnerable & expected ridicule, & the expectation gave him no pleasure. Yet, he did not flinch. He knew that faithfulness required this of him, & he knew that he could trust God to honor that faithfulness. So Paul looked to the Holy Spirit to validate the Word.
And the Spirit did as Paul had hoped. The result was the Corinthian church! God does honor faithfulness to His truth- faithfulness both in adhering to its given content & also in presenting it in God’s chosen way, as a testimony which can only be received through the enlightening that the Spirit gives. On occasion we are called to faithful witness of this kind.
Is God’s message to Paul: “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; for I am with you, & no man shall attack you to harm you; for I have many people in this city” (Acts 18:9-10) a message for you today? — JI PACKER
I’m amazed sometimes how God, our Heavening Father, knows exactly what we need and when we need it. This devotion was truely a great encouragement to me and I’m continually reminded how gracious He is to us on a daily basis. Take heart beloved, God is STILL on the throne!
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:10–12