In 1958 John Stott was leading a university outreach in Sydney, Australia. The day before the final meeting, Stott received word that his father had passed away. In addition to his grief, Stott was also starting to lose his voice.
It was late afternoon and within a few hours the final meeting would take place, so there was no way to back out. He went to the great hall and asked a few students to gather around him and pray. They read these verses, 2 Cor. 12:8-9, “My grace is sufficient for you for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” A student then prayed for him.
When it was time for him to preach, He preached within an half an inch of the microphone and, as he tells it, “croaked the gospel like a raven.” He couldn’t exert personality. He couldn’t move around nor make any voice inflections. He croaked the gospel in monotone. Then when the invitation came, there was an immediate response.
Stott says: “I've been back to Australia about ten times since 1958, and on every occasion somebody has come up to me and said, ‘Do you remember that final meeting in the university in the great hall?’ ‘I jolly well do,’ I reply. ‘Well,’ they say, ‘I was converted that night.’”
The great opportunity of trial is that His strength is perfected in us. When we pray for God not to lead us into temptation, we are asking Him not to release us from testing, but to come in His power in the middle of our weakness and deliver us from the tempter’s designs on our hearts