Key verse: I pray that you will be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might
- Weak can be strong in the Lord: Saul, David and Goliath
- The last shall be the first: Matthew 20:16
- His Grace is sufficient: 2 Corinthians 12:19
- Believers will not only be survivors but also overcomers: Revelation 12:11
- 2 Corinthians 10:3, 4
- 2 Timothy 1:7
- Proverbs 16:3
- 1 Thessalonians 4:11, 12
- Matthew 11:28
- John 10:10
- Ephesians 6:10
- Philippians 4:13
“God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;” (1 Corinthians 1:27).
You must have heard the phrase “survival of the fittest.” It actually is a scientific/biological/evolutionist concept, where they say that only the strongest or the best – who can adapt to hard existing conditions – are able to survive. It means if you can survive storms, then you are the fittest. This term is more often spoken of the animal evolution. Now I will not give a sermon on evolution it’s just as observation on what we see in the world. Even among humans we see this being applied. In the present times, this phrase makes sense for many. As the world is reeling with the pandemic, it seems this concept has become true for many. ‘Survival of the fittest’ is used say that in nature, only the strongest or the fittest can survive. The weak will die. In the wild we see the strongest and the fittest live the longest. Whoever has coined this phrase thinks man as mammals, rather than as the image bearers of the Divine. The Bible says God made man in His own image and likeness. When we talk of survival of the fittest, then we are essentially saying that ‘everyone man is for himself’. Then those with power will be focussed completely on maintaining power and ruling over the weak. Then this world comes under a jungle rule – it becomes one big game of the survival of the strong where the weaker people of the society become unimportant and dispensable. Like Hitler wanted to wipe out all the Jews because he thought he belonged to a superior race. For such people, whether the weak live or die doesn’t matter. Everyone tries to beat down the other. What a chaos this will create!
Weak can be strong in the Lord
Beloved we don’t find this phrase in the Bible. God says even the weak can become strong if he has the strong God with him. God will strengthen everyone – even the strong in their weak times. That is God. You know Charles Darwin was an evolutionist. He propounded the deadly theory of evolution. Darwin’s book gave to science what even the evil spirits didn’t. Yes most of the atrocities committed in human history can be linked to his book on evolution. When you see slavery, war, abuse of human rights, racism, what is it? Nothing but the variations of a concept called “survival of the fittest.” Do you know people like Adolf Hitler loved Darwin’s book? I think WW2 may not even have happened without Charles Darwin. Hitler himself wrote the reason for the Holocaust – the killing of 6 million Jews – was an idea he got from Darwin’s theory that if nature itself did not wish weaker individuals to mate with the stronger, then even the superior race should not intermingle with the inferior ones. Only the strongest and the best should have the right to live on this earth. He once wrote, “He who does not wish to fight in this world, where permanent struggle is the law of life, that person has no right to exist.” They remove God out of the equation. But bible says God is the God of the weak, the broken hearted, the simple, the poor and the needy.
Don’t believe in the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’. Let the world believe in it. You believe in God who loves all – the small and the great, the weak and the strong. Even the strong will have times when they need the help of God. When the concept of “survival of the fittest” is used in relation to humans, it reeks of arrogance. It denies that God is the agent of change. Survival of the fittest has allowed man to become god of his own life. The strong one wins. But this is not the truth. Who changed the truth for a lie?
When we see those around us competing for survival in life, sports, career, business, someone must lose for another to win. Those who are above sixty are already ready to die because they think only the strong will survive. But Bible says God has chosen the ‘nobodies’ in the place of ‘somebodies’. Those who should have lived are dying and those who should have died are living. Look at Saul. He was a mighty warrior. He was head and shoulders taller and stronger than others, yet he lost the battle of life. On the other hand David a small fellow, not only survived all his battles, but also never lost a battle. He died at a ripe old age.
The last shall be the first
The weak do die according to this phrase ‘survival of the fittest’. You might say, “Pastor we have seen even the strong die.” Yes, those who survive are strong no matter how weak they look on the outside. In the worldly terms only the fittest survive. Just imagine 100 are in a sinking ship and only 5 survive. These will be regarded as the fittest, no matter how strong those who perished were. They may have been wrestlers or wise men or strongest men like Goliath and the survivors maybe as lean as bamboo, still those who survive will only be considered the fittest.
Even so, the fittest will be those who will overcome this virus. God is able to do it for you. Some of you may be saying ‘I am diabetic, I am very weak, I won’t last’. You will last by the grace of God. You might say ‘I won’t get a job’ but you will get a job by the grace of God. You might say ‘I won’t get my salary,’ but you will get it by the grace of God. Grace is unmerited favour. God will favour you if you look to Him. God said ‘those who honour me them I shall also honour’.
I am telling you we are living in a very competitive world. We hear of survival of the fittest but today’s world scenario is different. It is not a competition between two people but between two athletes. Do you understand what I am saying? You are called to compete against another athlete. It is like survival among the champions. So where does that leave the common people like you and me?
The fight is among the best. Champions are fighting champions. Athletes don’t have to be the fittest but just more fit than other athletes. We are living in crazy times. It is like when a bear is chasing me, I don’t have to run faster than the other athlete, I have to run faster than the bear to save myself. That is why many are tired of running, chasing, fighting and struggling in this world. Many are giving up. They say ‘we are not even athletes and if the best win and the second best lose, where do I fit?’ Beloved this is where God comes to our rescue. God’s grace comes to our rescue. Jesus came for this reason. He brought grace to our lives. When grace comes then even the worst can become best and the last can come first. Jesus himself said “the last shall be first” (Matthew 20:16). The one who is at the lowest rung can rise to the highest. It is not all a game of wisdom and strength. It also depends how close you are to God.
His Grace is sufficient
The equation changes when God comes in the picture. If you want to be the world’s best, you need to be a great performer. I am not so I can only trust God’s grace to take me to the top positions. I can show you many who are have reached great heights – they have everything but at times, because of people or other things they may lose it all. Your survival doesn’t only depend on your fitness but also on many other factors like the environment, climate, luck, timing or your health. In the wild don’t lions – the king of the jungle- die before their time? They may become weak, sick or fall and have an accident and then even the foxes prey on them. A lightening can hit some! So it is with humans. We are called social animals and we too may meet the same fate. At times greed, selfishness, cruelty or other things can defeat you even if you have the talent, ability and skill. All that you have may prove unworthy and useless. Today we are faced with perilous times and the world says only the toughest will survive. The weaklings with weak immunity will die. Moreover job layoffs seem to be at an all time high.
Besides layoff we have our own personal problems to deal with: work-related problems, marital problems, family problems, financial problems, health problems, etc. Then we are faced with terrorism, war and virus scares. Man is tested to the hilt. With everything going on, some people are having a difficult time coping and it’s not surprising. One sister told me, “Pastor gone are the days when we slept peacefully. Now I lie awake tossing and turning. What if I lose my job? What will happen? How will I survive?” Another person said, “I suddenly wake up at nights with nightmares. I cannot enjoy sleep anymore. Now I sleep only 3-4 hours.” Across the nation, people who used to sleep soundly are suffering with insomnia. Sales of sleep aids are on the rise. One doctor said, “People are having trouble falling asleep. They’re having trouble staying asleep. They’re having bad dreams.”
Don’t fear anything. God is pouring out his divine grace on all who call upon him. Yes, divine grace is enough to sustain you in the toughest of times. Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for in your weakness lies my strength” (2 Corinthians 12:19) Are you weak? Are you saying you don’t fit in the survival of the fittest element? Don’t worry. Don’t fear. “For God did not give a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). Go out in the strength of the Lord. Go out in the name of the Lord. Proclaim it loud and clear: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). The time to be tough has come. The time to believe in the Word has come. The time to cling to the Lord has come. The faith of everyone is being tested. How are you faring?
Believers will not only be survivors but also overcomers
If the fittest are barely surviving, what about us? How can we cope? How can we survive? Is it now the matter of the survival of the fittest? Yes we have also seen some people, even non-Christians, who seem to handle everything fairly well. We should know however that our survival and success is not dependent on worldly tactics. We have something greater and stronger to draw from. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:3, 4). We have divine power available to us which can enable to survive and succeed in this mixed and messed up world. Survival is not a matter of the fittest! Or the smartest! Or the person with the most money. It’s a matter of faith! The more we walk by faith, the more we will be able to survive in this world. Not only that, we will do more than just survive. We will overcome. We will defeat this virus in Jesus name. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11). Overcame who? – The devil/the evil/the virus/the trouble. Don’t worry. This phase is passing by. Hold on. Already one year is gone. The time for it to vanish has come. You remember I said last year, “it came so shall it go?” God will take care of it. Bible says “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed” (Proverbs 16:3).
I am praying for you. Jesus is also praying for you that your faith may not fail. Yes I am praying for you every day that your faith may not fail you. You may not be the fittest but you will survive. Not only will you survive, you will be well and do great. You will prosper in all things. Beloved don’t listen to any Tom, Dick, Harry and Jane. It’s like an amateur who has never been in a race guiding athletes for Olympics. Some have never run a step in their lives and couldn’t do it. Now if they start guiding you it is like throwing cold water on your desire to run the race. These ones want to control your life, just as the devil wants to control you by giving you a thought from his mind.
Brethren, we don’t have any right to control anybody’s life, unless, of course, it is our children we are trying to raise. Then we’d better control their lives because they sure can’t! Parents don’t tell your children to cooperate, tell them to obey. When I was a young boy if we didn’t cooperate, Daddy would operate.
Beloved work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Work out but don’t worry about the result. Paul says, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody” (1 Thessalonians 4:11,12).
I read of a cat that survived the world trade centre disaster. A miracle kitty survived 18 days without food in the midst of debris. Emergency workers rescued the small kitten from the debris covered roof of a damaged apartment building close to the world trade centre. Though he suffered eye injuries, burns and smoke inhalation, he was able to stay alive by lapping puddles of contaminated rainwater. What I want to say is this: cats have nine lives but we humans have just one life. It has to be lived properly and wisely. If we have to survive life’s trouble, we need more than human help. We need Jesus. Only as we pray and let God take control, will we be able to cope and survive the pain and problems of this life. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
I may be considered very fit for my age. I am 62, but I feel very fit. Part of the reason is I have been doing yoga from the time I was 14 yrs old. Recently when I went for an eye check up the doctors said my eyes are very good. My heart is good. Yet, I don’t say I am fit on my own strength. No. I can break down anytime because the race is not to the swift, nor battle to the strong. Time and chance happens to all. I know I am nothing. It is no longer I, but Christ that lives in and strengthens me. I do my part, but it is still the strength of the Lord that sustains me.
Whoever had coined “survival of the fittest” does not say “overcoming” of the fittest but “survival.” Survival only speaks of existence/or staying alive; being alive. It speaks of one who escaped death or one who keeps his head above water. You must have heard of survival tactics or survival skills. These are techniques for emergency purposes. Like if you live in a jungle you cannot live in luxury, you should be able to handle emergency situations or live with the meagre supplies to survive. But see the beauty of Jesus. He says, “I have come to give you life, and life in abundance” (John 10:10). There is a difference between existence and life. I pray that you will be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10).
“God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;” (1 Corinthians 1:27).
You must have heard the phrase “survival of the fittest.” It actually is a scientific/biological/evolutionist concept, where they say that only the strongest or the best – who can adapt to hard existing conditions – are able to survive. As the world is reeling with the pandemic, it seems this concept has become true for many. Beloved we don’t find this phrase in the Bible. God says even the weak can become strong if he has the strong God with him. God will strengthen everyone – even the strong in their weak times.
Many are giving up. They say ‘we are not even athletes and if the best win and the second best lose, where do I fit?’ Beloved this is where God comes to our rescue. Jesus himself said “the last shall be first” (Matthew 20:16). The one who is at the lowest rung can rise to the highest. It is not all a game of wisdom and strength. It also depends how close you are to God.
Don’t fear anything. God is pouring out his divine grace on all who call upon him. Yes, divine grace is enough to sustain you in the toughest of times. Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for in your weakness lies my strength” (2 Corinthians 12:19). Proclaim it loud and clear: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). The time to be tough has come. The time to believe in the Word has come. The time to cling to the Lord has come.
The more we walk by faith, the more we will be able to survive in this world. Not only that, we will do more than just survive. We will overcome. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11). Overcame who? – The devil/the evil/the virus/the trouble. Don’t worry. This phase is passing by. Hold on. You may not be the fittest but you will survive. Not only will you survive, you will be well and do great. You will prosper in all things. I pray that you will be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10). Praise God!!!