Focus 5 (of 5)- I Am Strong

Focus 5 | I Am Strong

No matter how weak you are, God promises you can say “I am strong,” and when you do, it will be true.
Consider this ice breaker as you gather for the Spotlight.
What was the first way you made money?
See what this Spotlight—and series—is focused on.
Tap on the words "Focus 5" in the image below to read this Spotlight's summary.
Listen to this audio clip when you’re ready to begin today’s Spotlight.
(And welcome, by the way! It’s great that you’re here!)
Remember your Spirit Weakling?
If you haven’t done the Spirit Weakling quiz (from Part 1 of this series) yet, that’s OK. But if that's the case, go ahead and choose the animal you think is right for you. 

Guinevere the Sad Panda

Dwayne the Ridiculous Platypus

Louis the Underachieving Zooplankton

Huckleberry the Bumbling Duck

Now, let’s think about their care…

What is true of your Spirit Weakling?

  • Basic Diet
  • Hours of Sleep Each Day
  • Favorite Bible Story
  • Most Daunting (but rather basic) Task
  • % chance of successfully caring for itself…

The best your spirit weakling can do isn’t going to be good enough, and that’s OK. In fact, that’s the point. These creatures were universally loved by everyone who took the quiz, and that’s what makes them worthwhile.

The same is true of you, and every other weakling to walk the planet.
Let’s pray with King David (a man who knew his weaknesses well) through Psalm 86.

Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
 for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
 save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord,
 for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
 for I put my trust in you.

Welcome Perspective

Let’s continue praying through Psalm 86 (a continuation from the Welcome section). 

You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
When I am in distress, I call to you,
because you answer me.

Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.

Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead. Amen.
Listen to this song about trust.
Lyrics for Psalm 86 by Jenny & Tyler

O Lord my God, incline your ear
and answer me for I am poor.
Preserve my life, rescue this slave
who trusts in you, O Lord my God.

O Lord my God, show me your grace.
To you I cry all the day.
Make glad this soul; your servant save.
My soul I lift, to you my God.

Teach me your way and I
will walk in your truth—in your truth.
Unite my heart that I
may fear only you—only you.

O Lord my God, you are so good,
quick to forgive, and bountiful
in lovingkindness to everyone
who calls on you, O Lord my God.

Teach me your way and I
will walk in your truth—in your truth.
Unite my heart that I
may fear only you—only you. Only you.

O Lord my God, I will give thanks
with my whole heart and glorify
your name forever, for you have saved
my soul from hell, O Lord my God.

Teach me your way and I
will walk in your truth—in your truth.
Unite my heart that I
may fear only you—only you.

Teach me your way and I
will walk in your truth—in your truth.
Unite my heart that I
may fear only you—only you.
Only you. Only you.
Find hope and promise as weakness meets with strength.
God has a lot to say about humanity’s weakness and God’s strength, and most of it isn’t scary, threatening, demeaning, or even God-glorifying. Most of it is loving. Watch how God illustrates that in these two passages, written 1,000 years apart from one another.

Read and respond to the following text. (If you’re going through this Spotlight in a group, the regular text is read by the leader, and the bolded text is read by the group. If you’re doing this solo, feel free to read both parts.)

Psalm 73:21–28

When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward, you will take me into glory.

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.

But as for me, it is good to be near God.

I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.

2 Corinthians 12:9–10

He 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Now, download and share this graphic on social media.

Listen to this song about taking what God says at face value.
Worship Perspective

Kids, watch this video about Samson.
Discuss a few questions about Samson:

  1. Where did his strength come from? Why? Why? Why?
  2. Samson is always thought of as the strongest man, but most of his story is about his weakness. Agree or Disagree? Why?
  3. Read Samson’s final prayer and words. How do they display the weakness of humanity and the strength of God? Going further, how do they show the impact of God’s strength on human weakness?

Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.

Judges 16:28–30
See that weakness > strength.
(What does it really mean to “let the weak say, ‘I am strong’”?)

Share one acute weakness: (Once you SHARE YOURS, it will be immediately added to the RUNNING LIST of everyone's submissions below.)


Rank your faith-oriented weaknesses: (Again, once you RANK YOURS, it will be immediately added to another RUNNING LIST of everyone's submissions below.)


Let the weakling say, “I am strong.” with some text and a video.
First, read through this text—read through Joel 3:7–11.

“See, I am going to rouse them out of the places to which you sold them, and I will return on your own heads what you have done. I will sell your sons and daughters to the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, a nation far away.” The Lord has spoken.

Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears.
Let the weakling say, “I am strong!” Come quickly, all you nations from every side, and assemble there.

Bring down your warriors, Lord!

Joel 3:7–11

Now, watch this video.

Continue your interactive experience about journeying into weakness.
The Apostle Peter had a unique perspective on weakness due to a series of significant events in his life. Let’s get into part five of his journey. (We went through parts one through four in the last few Spotlights.)

Click the arrow in the frame below to begin navigating through the experience.

Learn Perspective

Let’s send a prayer to a preemie parent.

Throughout January, Illume partnered with Seattle Parents of Preemies. As you consider “letting the weak say I am strong,” go beyond simply adding preemies and their parents to your own, private prayers—let’s send our prayers to them so they know they’re being prayed for.

Start by choosing one of the following Bible verses:

Psalm 23:4 | Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 34:8 | Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 34:19 | The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;

Psalm 37:4 | Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 55:22 | Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

Psalm 90:17 | May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.

Psalm 103:2-6 | Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.

Psalm 119:105 | Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Psalm 121:1-2 | I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD,  the Maker of heaven and earth.

Proverbs 3:5-6 | Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 16:3 | Commit to the LORD whatever you do,  and he will establish your plans.

Proverbs 18:10 | The name of the LORD is a fortified tower;  the righteous run to it and are safe.

Isaiah 40:31 | …but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Jeremiah 29:11 | For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Matthew 11:28 | Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Romans 8:28 | And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose.

Philippians 4:6-7 | Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 2:18 | Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

1 Peter 5:7 | Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 John 4:4 | You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Next, take the following steps to send us an email so we can forward your message of encouragement on to those who need it.

  1. CLICK HERE to open an email to us.
  2. Write a 4–5 sentence message of encouragement in the body of the email. 
  3. Copy and paste the Bible reference to the passage you selected above.
  4. Press send on the email so we can forward it on to those who need it!

Thank you for serving others in this important and life-giving way!
Feel free to submit a prayer request by filling out the below form.
(If you choose to make your request public, you'll see it display in the Current at the end of the Spotlight along with anyone else who did the same.)

Prayer Requests

Pray through your requests—together—as a group.
After submitting your requests in the above form, take some time to share with your group whatever requests the group might have for this week.
Serve Perspective

Finish with this triumphant song.
Sing along with (or listen to) this song to close out this Spotlight.
Feel free to sing along or simply listen. Do what makes you comfortable—but do whatever helps you focus on the song's meaning best.
Farewell Perspective

Let's wrap things up by taking a look at what's Current at Illume.

Tap on the buttons in the frame below to see what’s currently happening at Illume—information on everything from current and upcoming online content to live events and opportunities to serve in the community can all be found here.                          

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