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A Man of Weakness Empowered by the God of Strength

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) was known as the “Prince of Preachers,” having preached to over 10 million people in his lifetime. He preached at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London for 38 years, was a prolific author of numerous works including sermons, an autobiography, commentaries, books on prayer, devotionals, magazines, poetry, hymns and more. His oratory skills were unparalleled as he held listeners spellbound with his penetrating thought and exposition.

With such accolades and accomplishments, one would think that Spurgeon “had it all together” and was never troubled by the trials and battles that beset the common man or woman. But this was not the case. Spurgeon was known to struggle with depression for many years and spoke of being overcome by tears for no reason known to himself. He suffered ill health toward the end of his life through an affliction of rheumatism, gout and Bright’s disease. His wife, also, endured ill health through much of their married life and was often unable to leave home to hear him preach.

If you ever feel that you are too ill, too weak, too intrepid, or simply too “human” to accomplish much for the glory of God, remember Spurgeon. God used this diminutive man with affliction and weakness to become a monumental proclaimer of biblical truth. If ever another human could speak the words of the Apostle Paul, it was Spurgeon: “But [Jesus] said to me, `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).

When you feel lonely, tired, or weak, remember these words from the Prince of Preachers who was a man of weakness empowered by the God of strength.

“Quiet!” my fears. This is just a narrow span, and it will soon pass. “Quiet, quiet!” my doubts. Death is only a narrow stream, and it will soon be forded. Time, how short; eternity, how long! Death, how brief; immortality, how endless! Even now I think I am eating Eshcol’s grapes and sipping from the well inside the gate (Deuteronomy 1:24-25). The road is short. I will soon be there:

When the world my heart is rending

With its heaviest storm of care,

My glad thoughts to heaven ascending.

Find a refuge from despair.

Faith’s bright vision shall sustain me

Till life’s pilgrimage is past;

Fears may vex and trouble pain me,

I shall reach my home at last.

(Spurgeon, Morning and Evening)