Frailty and the Gospel

 “I almost never get sick.”

I actually can’t remember the last time I was sick—until this week. I spent most of the week under the weather. I even missed a day of work and I still am not a hundred percent. So I can no longer lay claim to my opening statement.

Spending the week feeling poorly reminded me of the frailty of the flesh. Illness often comes quickly and without warning. I went running the morning of the day that I began to feel sick. Then, before I knew it, the icky-ness set in.

Since I was thinking about frailty I decided to see what the Bible had to say on the subject. I was amazed to find that in most modern translations the word does not occur at all. The most occurrences I could find in older translations were three and only one had to do with the frailty of man.

I then turned to the dictionary and found that the defining characteristic of frailty is weakness—that weakness can be physical or moral.

This led me to consider my own spiritual life. It is so often characterized by frailty. I fail to do what I should have done and I do what I should have avoided. It is too easy to give in to the comfortable and familiar and to avoid the challenging and difficult things that push me beyond my comfort zone.

That is why I am so grateful for the gospel.

In the gospel I find forgiveness at the cross for those times when I am overcome by my own frailty.

In the gospel I am graciously granted the very righteousness of Christ so that I can be assured that I am accepted by the Father in the Son.

In the gospel I am given the Holy Spirit as a down-payment on what is to come and who empowers me to live beyond my own resources (which are shot-through with frailty).

Even in the midst of not feeling well this week, I was presented with an opportunity for ministry with a group of people who are totally different from me. We have virtually nothing in common. Can you guess this pushed me beyond my comfort zone?

I decided to say “Yes” to this opportunity because it pushed me beyond my comfort zone. It is in those times when the Lord can grow me in my faith because I am completely dependent on him to make this opportunity a significant one.

Are you aware of your frailty today?

Are you finding your forgiveness, hope and strength in the gospel?

Are you avoiding something beyond your comfort zone that the Lord is calling you to do?


About Dr. John H. Harbison

Son of God, Husband, Father, Author of "Keeping Christ in Ministry,"Vice-President for Academic Affairs, College Pastor, Runner, Writer
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6 Responses to Frailty and the Gospel

  1. Thank you, Dr. Harbison, for the wonderfully wise words you have shared with us, today. They challenge me to submit to the next opportunity He calls me to serve outside my comfort zone. I miss out on growth when I don’t.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • Dr. John H. Harbison says:

      Thanks, Wendy, for taking the time to read my blog and comment. I enjoyed seeing your photographs and reading your poetry.

  2. This is why the Ash Wednesday service is so deeply stirring.

  3. Tyler says:

    Excellent blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost
    on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for
    a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any tips? Many thanks!

    • Dr. John H. Harbison says:

      I would recommend WordPress as it is free but provides many of the services I was looking for when I started my blog. You can also have your own domain name (that is, you don’t have to include “wordpress” in your url) at a very reasonable price. I have not done this yet but probably will sometime in the future. There are also many websites which can help you as you begin. I have found Jeff Goins to very helpful.

      Blessings as you launch out with your blog.

  4. sam says:

    Excellent, that is a very touching and reflective blog…might you be having something for/to me over the failure to observe commitments I make to my Lord!?

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