Author: J. I. Packer
Publisher: Crossway May 31, 2013
Theme: Sufficiency from God
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: This book was given to me for free from Crossway for the purpose of review.
The world system encourages us to be strong and self-sufficient. Weakness is looked upon as being poor in character and to be avoided.
Packer explains in Weakness Is the Way, that at some point in our life we will become older and weak. We understand growing older; but we fail to see that at every point in our life we are already weak in sin. We are "disabled" in being able to fix ourselves. Packer states: "we are helpless," and he encourages us to "embrace our helplessness, and God's sufficiency."
A focal Scripture from Paul's letter in 2 Corinthians.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. ESV.
I had hoped for a lengthier book on this subject. I enjoyed reading it, but was hoping for more. This was the only reason I gave this book a 4 star review.
What I loved about this book:
- One of the key verses in this book is my favorite: "So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. ESV
- The theme of human frailty and weakness, I feel needs to be shouted from the roof top (so to speak.) Our world is full of puffed up pride (this includes me.) I needed to be reminded that my body is a transient mist, a mist that appears for a little while, and then it's gone. I'm reminded of a book Andrew Murray wrote, Humility. If you've not read this book I recommend it.
- Packer teaches that Paul is declaring his: "motivation as a servant to God." He does this in three motivations: "1. Paul wants to give constant pleasure to Christ. 2. Paul wants to be found fully faithful to Christ on judgment day. 3. Paul is controlled, claimed, driven, directed, set going, and kept going by the love of Christ." Pages 31-42.
- Packer addressed a tough teaching, in that Jesus will bring hardship in my life, in order that I will depend on Him. A course of hardship is mapped out in God's will for my life. Perseverance only comes by sufficiency in Christ Jesus.
- Chapter three: "Christ and the Christian's Giving." This chapter was convicting for me, because I asked myself am I managing my money and my time faithfully? Packer taught me: "What is Christian giving?" I felt this was taught simply and in a easy to accept manner.
- My favorite quote: "what does the Bible give us that secular theory cannot match? In a word, hope: hope understood not in the weak sense of optimistic whistling in the dark, but in the strong sense of certainty about what is coming because God himself has promised it." Page 92.