“All things must be weakened before they can be strengthened.”

Last night, I was thinking about my walk with God. And I was wondering why, recently, I’ve been struggling and wrestling with the devil…

And then it popped into my head. It came to mind—that in my earlier years, I’d pray and ask God to strengthen me. To make me stronger, braver and strengthen my faith in Him. To turn me into a warrior and make me unbreakable.

So God’s been allowing me to get into fights and struggle with the devil and his demons. To be at war with and battle them, to wrestle and struggle against them, to be burned and injured and attacked by the devil…

But then I wondered, “Why? Why is that how I’m made stronger? During these struggles, I came close to almost falling off—almost falling into great and significant error, sin, and wickedness. I was brought near to death… spiritual death. And that’s how I’m made stronger? I’m made stronger by coming near to great wickedness? By almost being persuaded by the devil into corruption and immorality? By nearly doing the very wicked thing that God so hates? How is that strengthening? How does that do anything?”

And He said, “All things must be weakened before they can be strengthened.

“In order for something to be strengthened, it must first be weakened.”

“In order for you to be strengthened, you must first be weakened.”

And He brought multiple examples to me to help me understand.

So here they are:

Strengthening Muscles

To strengthen your muscles and become stronger physically, you have to tear your muscles apart. When you go to the gym to lift weights, you are physically tearing and ripping your muscles apart. You are breaking down and destroying your muscles to absolute weakness, to the point that they can’t lift anything anymore. But that is how you strengthen your muscles. Once you recover and heal, you’ll have built back more muscle fibers and stronger fibers.

Strengthening Iron

Iron is a very strong metal, but there is a stronger metal. We call it steel. Steel is exceptionally strong. About 6.9x as strong as iron, some sources say 100 times, and others say 1,000 times. Regardless, steel is much stronger than iron. But steel IS iron, just a strengthened version. It’s the combination of carbon and iron to form steel.

But how’s steel made? So let’s take a look.

Iron is mixed with carbon, then heated to over 2600°F. And what does the heat do? It weakens the iron—makes the iron so weak that it can no longer hold itself up anymore. It is made so weak that it can’t support itself and melts. But after it melts, it combines with the carbon to become carbon-rich iron, aka steel. Then it’s left to cool down… To recover from being weakened to the point of melting. So when it finally recovers and returns back to it’s normal state, it’s significantly stronger than it was before.

Just one more example…


Concrete is capable of withstanding 50,000 PSI. That’s 50,000 lbs. per square INCH. But before it ever achieves that strength, what happens to it?

It’s weakened, just as the iron is. To the point that it can’t even hold itself together. It’s liquid stone. And it’s poured into a frame and rebar, steel metal bars, are placed inside the concrete to strengthen it. Then it rests. And as it rests, it slowly begins to come together again. So when it finally recovers, it’s extremely strong. Much stronger than it initially was without rebar.

The process of strengthening requires weakening first.

So I think you get the point by now. If you want to be made strong, then you first need to be weakened to the point of being changeable. Anything and everything that gets strengthened, first has to be weakened to the point of being changeable. Then the changes are made and allowed to take hold. And once it is all finished, you end up stronger than you were before.

The strongest people in the world, not physically, but mentally. They have been broken down, ground, and shredded into absolute dust to become what they are today. You will always find the strongest people are the ones who’ve gone through the worst suffering and pain.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV

And I know this verse has another meaning as well, but it seems to apply perfectly. It seems to fit in precisely with this idea and it adds another angle to the verse. But the original meaning, of course, being that, when we are too weak to lift something, then we call out to God and He comes to lift it for us. His strength and power being made perfect in that, He can use all of His power in our life. Being weak and failing makes us completely submit to God that we can’t do it. So, we look to Him and give Him everything… And when we give Him everything, He has all of the space to use His power and strength with no limits. Thereby, being made perfect, or lacking limits, in our lives through our weakness.

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