3 Promises for Those Who Feel Too Weak to Keep Going

Amber Ginter

iBelieve Contributing Writer
Updated Dec 05, 2023
3 Promises for Those Who Feel Too Weak to Keep Going

The beauty of abiding with Christ is that it doesn’t ask you to “try harder,” “stand taller,” “look stronger,” “pray more,” or “have more faith.” God’s Word simply asks you to remain or stay.

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10). 

Over the last five years, I’ve felt weak, ashamed, embarrassed, and too beaten down to stand. Ten+ diagnoses have stripped my identity—taken away hobbies and energy I once had. My mental space has become a blur. Foggy and shaken. Confused and riddled with pain. Spiritually, I’ve doubted. I’ve asked, “God, where are you?” and received what felt like the absence of His presence. I’ve felt too fragile, lost, and defeated to get back to who I once was. I’ve felt guilty for being exhausted. Not strong enough. 

Did anyone ever ask me to be so strong, so put-together? Have you felt this way?

In whispers, I hear Christ’s call to endure the suffering. I wonder if it’s worth it. To stand firm amid my pain. To keep hoping. Believing. Holding on. 

The pain is real. But I've also searched the Scriptures and found three things that give me the courage to face another day. The endurance suffering brings doesn’t steal your ability, rather it refines you, and when you recognize the value of being weak, you can embrace three promises God’s given: abiding, completeness, and restoration. 

1. Enduring is Not About Doing; It’s About Abiding 

In 2 Timothy 2:3, Paul says a good soldier “endures” suffering, “Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (NLT). In my struggles with mental and physical health, I’ve felt anything but strong or able to stand. Definitely not like a soldier. Yet endurance isn’t a charge or sprint forward.

Matthew 24:13 notes: “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” The Greek word for endure here means to remain or abide, not recede or flee. When soldiers are pinned down by artillery fire, they are enduring that moment. The alternative is to run away. Endurance isn’t asking us to charge forward. It's asking us to stand firm. Stay where you are. Don't abandon your post or give up. Remain steadfast. Abide. 

The beauty of abiding with Christ is that it doesn’t ask you to “try harder,” “stand taller,” “look stronger,” “pray more,” or “have more faith.” God’s Word simply asks you to remain or stay. The ESV of John 15:4 writes it this way: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me”. Yet even when we abandoned Him, He stayed with us (through the Holy Spirit) and chose us (dying on the cross for our sins). That promise extends to us today. 

In Brandon Lake’s melody, "Don’t You Give Up On Me," the artist pens these words: 

“Don't you give up on me. Don't you give up on me. When the night's at its darkest, that's when the light hits the hardest. Don't you give up on me. Don't you give up on me.'Cause you ain't seen what I promised. Child, we're just getting started.”

What a beautiful promise of hope to abide in. Keep hoping and pressing on. Even when it’s our darkest, we can’t fathom what He has in store. 

2. The Benefits of Enduring: He Completes Us

A common misconception sufferers believe is that they are weak and less than others. James 1:2-4 encourages us, however, to recognize these trials as opportunities for our faith to be tested and our endurance to grow. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (ESV). 

If you feel weak and less-than, foggy, and worn down, you’re in one of the best positions to rejoice. Not because you feel like it or are self-sufficient, but because you’re promised steadfastness through testing. When steadfastness fully plays out, it completes you. That perseverance creates perfection, so you truly lack nothing. The complete opposite of weakness. 

3. Suffering Won’t Last Forever; God Will Restore Us 

A common misconception of those suffering mentally or physically is that they’ll “never get better.” I’ve been there. Maybe you’ve been there, too. Between negative thoughts and physical ailments, the beliefs become difficult to wrestle with or counter because, in a human sense, we very well may be weak by earthly standards. But these negative core beliefs eat your hope and identity. 

While it’s good and appropriate to validate the pain you’re experiencing, remember what Christ promises: ultimate restoration.

1 Peter 5:10 tells us that after we have suffered a little while, Christ will restore us. The Greek word for restore here means to mend (what has been broken or rented) or to repair. It can also mean ethically, to strengthen, perfect, complete, and make one what he ought to be. 

Isn't that a beautiful word of good news? We know from John 16:33 that in this world we will have trouble. Mental and physical health issues are a part of that declaration. And that often discourages even the eldest of believers. How can we have hope when we live in a world of gloom and doom? 

The goodness of this promise is not in the fact that we must suffer. It's in the resounding symphony that God will restore. 

There are days I'm discouraged, believing God will never heal me of my physical pain. Watching my father suffer similar conditions for the last 15 years has almost completely broken me. Riddled with anxiety and depression, I lose hope and question His presence. This is the life of many trusted believers. 

But when I remember God's promise to restore me, I'm filled with joy (Luke 1:37). His promises will never be broken. He and His Word are eternal and true (Isaiah 55:11). So even though I may never see that healing this side of heaven, I can look towards a place where I know it's coming (Revelation 21:4). 

Yes, your pain is real and valid. Yes, you will have days you feel ashamed, embarrassed, and defeated, but God doesn't lie (Hebrews 6:18). He's promised to mend what has been broken and crushed. Including you.

A Call to Endure

Every day you keep moving forward, believing and hoping, you soldier on and achieve the promises these passages reflect; the peace of abiding in His presence, the benefit of being made complete, and the confidence that He will restore. Enduring suffering is forming things in you worth more than anything–even that of gold. 

Peter, Paul, and even Jesus knew the beauty in their sufferings if they chose to endure. Not because they always felt strong, but because they held tightly to the promises that would come. Perhaps this is why Jesus often wrote what came across as paradoxical statements:

-If you die with Christ, you will live. 

-If you endure hardship, you will reign. 

-If you’re unfaithful, He remains faithful. 

-When you’re weak, then you’re strong  (2 Timothy 1:11-13 paraphrased). 

Friend, embrace these truths. Hold them near to your heart. Recite them often; even when it’s difficult to believe them. 

At times, you’re going to feel weak. We’re imperfect beings living in a fallen world. Yet, according to His Word (which never lies or fails), you’re a soldier of Christ, being renewed in the likeness of His image (Colossians 3:10). Not strong in your power, but His. 

Strength is a gift given to you by God. It’s His power within that will not only restore but help you stand firm. There’s beauty in endurance: strength in the struggle. 

Something to Boast About

As I think about who I’ve become in the last decade, shame tries to haunt me. The number of things wrong with me outweighs all that’s right. But I shake them off like pestering flies. They might exist, but if I shift my focus away from them, the thoughts eventually subside. 

There’s ambiguity in weakness. Enduring suffering when you’d rather not. But if enduring pain makes you a good soldier of Jesus Christ, then who’s to call you weak? Not even intellect can argue that fact. You will suffer hardships. But you’re a victorious soldier of Jesus, the Anointed One. Not because you don’t have weaknesses, but because you do. Now that’s something to boast about. 

“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10, NLT). 

Agape, Amber

Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/nik_shuliahin

amber ginter headshotAmber Ginter is a teacher-turned-author who loves Jesus, her husband Ben, and granola. Growing up Amber looked for faith and mental health resources and found none. Today, she offers hope for young Christians struggling with mental illness that goes beyond simply reading your Bible and praying more. Because you can love Jesus and still suffer from anxiety. You can download her top faith and mental health resources for free to help navigate books, podcasts, videos, and influencers from a faith lens perspective. Visit her website at amberginter.com.