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When exactly are you weak?

When exactly are you weak?

Romans 8:18

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy {to be compared} with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

I’m sure if you are like me, you have heard this verse preached many times and generally the message boils down to one main and supposedly encouraging point. That point being that whatever we suffer while we are in un-renewed bodies is nothing compared to how great the glory that will be revealed in us will be. So basically those struggles are to be thought of as “no big deal.” Let’s examine this verse and discover more truth or if what we have been taught is actually the truth of this verse. 

    To begin with, the main crux that drives the sermons we’ve heard are the words “to be compared”. I have them in brackets above because in the actual text, they are italicized. Words that are italicized in the Bible are either quoting another verse in the Bible or are not in the original text of the Bible and were added by translators for clarity. Thus, these words basically are what a translator felt should go there based on any number of reasons but the words themselves are not inspired by the Holy Ghost. When we read the verse without the words, it doesn’t make too much sense, so it is easy to understand why they were added. {We will look at the verse without the verse in a bit.}

    Next, let us define the terms “worthy” and “with” since these two words anchor the injected words and seem out of place without the injected words. The word “worthy” is the Greek word #514- axios- in itself the word means simply weight, but it is derived from a root word- “ago” and that word means to lead to a destination, to move as a force or influence on the mind.  The word “with” is the Greek word “pros” # 4314 and it means “to the advantage of” and comes from a root word that means before. Owing to these two definitions, we can see why the Holy Spirit did not feel it necessary to include the “filler words” in the verse. That is, if the verse were re-written without the added words and using the definitions of “with” and “worthy” it would read as follows:

  "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not leading us to  the advantage of nor do they come before the glory which shall be revealed in us.” {My translation}

We can now clearly see that the verse means something entirely different than we have been taught. It doesn’t mean that we should just accept sufferings as part of the package because of some inherent value that suffering has. Suffering, as we have been taught, does not bring about the glory of God inside of us. What actually brings out the glory is the need that draws on the anointing.  Scripturally we can see the not all who suffered when Jesus was incarnate manifested the glory of God. As well not everyone who had a need manifested that glory. {Please note that at the time Jesus was on earth the Holy Spirit was manifesting the glory of God through Him and anyone who used His name. As opposed to now His Spirit is on the inside of the believer} This being said, it can be ascertained that the catalyst for manifestation of the glory of God was the need and then moving toward God for the manifestation of His glory. This is what every person who received from Jesus or the disciples did while Jesus was in His earthly ministry. 

    At this juncture, one might argue that if suffering does not draw out the glory of God then why did Paul make the statement in 2 Corinthians 12:10 “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”? It is an understandable and valid question. But to answer it, we must understand some context. In verse 8, Paul relates to the reader that he pleaded with God three times to remove the messenger of satan from him. God, in response, however said that His {God’s} grace was sufficient for Paul because in weakness the strength of God is perfected. Now the word weakness is a general term that can mean sickness, or it can mean a lack in the ability to do anything great or glorious. Thus God’s strength, His glory is strong in lack but notice that God did not just remove the messenger when Paul asked Him to. If He had, then we could certainly say that we would welcome any weakness so that God could get rid of it. No God was simply pointing out to Paul that He had already given Paul the ability to manifest His {God’s} glory and put that messenger of satan out in the abyss. God was basically saying to Paul that there was no reason for him to put up with all of the attacks since God had already given him what he needed to manage any attack. 

    In conclusion, it is a slightly different approach to think that we don’t have to suffer just so that we can see the glory of God. Rather, all we have to do is humble ourselves enough to realize and take preemptive advantage of the glory of God that He already put on the inside of us! Therefore, I propose that remembering our weakness to, in and of ourselves, manifest the supernatural is the only time we should ever think ourselves weak for it is in this humble mindset that we can then manifest the glory of God and that we don’t have to wait for something to go wrong in order to manifest the grace of God.

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