Machiavelli first said, “Never waste the opportunity offered by a good crisis.” Winston Churchill popularized Machiavelli by saying “Never let a good crisis go to waste” Republicans and Democrats differ on many things one thing they both agree on is more power and more influence is better than less. A crisis therefore, allows politicians to consolidate power and expand influence. To use their strength to grow stronger by preying on the weaknesses of others. A crisis is an opportunity for them to boast in their strength.
For the Christian the idea of not wasting a crisis is altogether different, rather than projecting strength at the expense of others you boast in your weakness. Paul says in 2 Corinthians that as Christians, servants of God we commend ourselves not in our self-confidence not in our success but actually in our weakness.
2 Corinthians 6:2-10
Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 3 We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4 but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger;6 by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; 7 by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8 through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9 as unknown, and yet well-known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.
“no sorrow, no disappointment, however severe, could ever interrupt, let alone extinguish, the joy of his salvation with its vision of unclouded glory to come, for this joy was founded upon the sovereign supremacy of God, who overrules all things and causes them to work together for good to those He has called”
Hughes, R. K. 2 Corinthians: power in weakness
The problem we have is we forget that our job is Christians is not to consolidate power to build our kingdom so we can slap a KLove bumper sticker on it. When a crisis comes for us as Christians it is not an occasion for us to consolidate power it is an opportunity for us to press into our weakness. Becuase it is in our weakness that God strength is never so clearly seen in our lives. Culture has fed the church the lie that the stronger we are the more influence we have. The bible teaches the weaker we are the more clearly we can see Christ and other can see Christ in us. What makes Jesus famous is not our little victories but pressing into Christ when we have nothing left. When all feels lost.
Endurance in the face of difficulty is a virtue and a grace that is mocked more than celebrated in our culture today. It is looked at by Christians and non-Christians alike as weakness. There are well-meaning people preaching another gospel of easy and happiness. Our culture is chasing its desire of pleasure into the grave. What people miss in chasing happiness is actual joy. True joy. Life altering, life-sustaining joy. A joy that is paradoxical a joy that is filled with sorrow.
Kent Hughes says this in his commentary on 2 Corinthians:
In point of fact, Paul’s sufferings did not disqualify him. Rather, they proved the authenticity of his faith and commitment. The fact that he didn’t quit or curse God for his miseries as so many have done but endured testified to his genuine faith. In effect, his endurance declared that the gospel is true and that Jesus is worth it
Endurance declares that the gospel is true and that Jesus is worth it!