When you are powerless how should you respond?

Welcome to this guest post from my husband Philip Schroeder.

One of the transformers serving the office building where I worked blew. There was no power in most of the building, including the servers and phones. The place was quiet, dark, unresponsive and the air stale. No work could be done. Phones were not answered. Email died unread and unsent. There was no light to study. The AC lay silent unable to cool the lingering summer air. We were powerless. It was hopeless to do any work. All power was gone. It had left us and we were helpless. When you are powerless, how should you respond?

When you are powerless, what then?

How often have disciples of Christ tried to do ministry when the power was gone? There are times when spiritually my own soul is quiet, dark, unresponsive and the air stale. Do I try to “push forward” to get things done anyway on my own power or do I take a step back to “close things down” and give the appropriate time to restore the power from the source.

When you are powerless, what then? Share on X

Israel found themselves in a similar situation, described in Isaiah 30:15,16 (ESV). “…In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength…”Through His prophet, God admonished them that only through repentance and resting in Him would they find solution to their situation. 

Their response was, “NO, we will flee… No we will ride… ” (Is 30:16 ESV) Can you hear their echo in today’s words? “We’ve got this!”, “We can do it, we just need to try a little harder.”  When you are powerless how should you respond?

Finally be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might… Ephesians 6:10 (ESV)

What in these Scripture verses might help you respond to “powerless” situations? Use the form below to share your thoughts.


*feature photo by Philip Schroeder on a 2015 trip to Thailand

9 Replies

  1. LaToya C. Reply

    I absolutely love this reading. It is the same exact Bible verse the Lord led me to when I fully surrendered my addiction to Him. I was powerless and admitting this to Him was indeed that first step led to me recommit my life and find freedom from addiction and so much more.

  2. J.D. WIninger Reply

    Great post Mr. Phil, with a great question to ponder at the end. As I was reading, the words of my favorite verse of Scripture (Philippians 4:13) came to mind. It’s in the remembering that without God we are, and can do, nothing. Of course, a backup generator keeps us going here at the Cross-Dubya, but I believe it too came from God. He provided the means to obtain it, knowing what we needed before we needed it.

    • Philip Schroeder Reply

      Thanks JD. It truly is humbling, yet empowering to know that our all powerful Creator is able, powerful enough and caring enough to do what we need.

  3. Yvonne Morgan Reply

    Wonderful message. My verse is Romans 8:28 when I feel helpless. Knowing God is always with me makes a difference.

    • Philip Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Yvonne. great reminded that He is able and desires to work things for our ultimate good.

  4. Candyce Reply

    What a strange situation that must have been, especially in this day and time. Thankfully, God is our stronghold and will provide everything we need.

    • Philip Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Candace. We surprise ourselves sometimes when “usually” things do work all the time and suddenly they don’t. Since moving to the East Coast we’ve noticed many more power blackouts than we thought the norm for the USA.

  5. Annie Yorty Reply

    Excellent reminders, Phil. Thank you! Anything we do outside of God’s power is meaningless.

    • Philip Schroeder Reply

      Thanks for your comment Annie. Being in powerless situations whether that is electrical power, or spiritual power reminds us quickly as you say, “anything outside of God’s power is meaningless.”