Archive for the ‘Strength’ Category


Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Day 269

“But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill”
Psalm 3:3

It was a bitter moment.

The rebellion and wickedness by one of David’s son, Absalom, had now turned against his father. He seized the throne and drove him out, proceeding to pursue him with the intent of killing him.

The burden was great.

David “continued up the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went.” His own son turned against him. Absalom was his closest counselor. Yet, he became a traitor leading David to losing a kingdom, and now possibly his life. Adding insult to injury, David was cursed by a man who pelted him with stones. David even believed the Lord may have caused him to do so and would not permit his troops to kill or stop him. This had to be one of the lowest points of David’s life.

The Lord is greater.

David could not rely not on his own strength or position. He declared the Lord was his shield and protection. God will save him by taking him through these troubled waters. David was a king, but his glory was not in the office, but in God Himself. Even though he was in despair and recognized his own past sins may have set the stage for these events, he also knew that the Lord would turn it to good. He knew God would lift his head up in joy for sorrow, glory for the despised and blessedness for the humble. What mercies our God gives us.

“I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me”
Psalm 3:5


Monday, November 1st, 2010

Day 238

“You have striven with God and men and have prevailed”
Genesis 32:25-28

This story is one of the more interesting ones detailed in the scriptures. Jacob lived filled with conflict that took his spiritual life to heights and depths. His life began in deceit, cheating his brother out of his birthright. It did not get any better as time went on, but through it all, He was a chosen man of God.

Later in the story, Jacob was to meet his brother and he feared for his life. He earnestly prayed humbling himself before God. That night, when alone, this self-sufficient man wrestled all night with a man. He became involved in a struggle of his body, soul and spirit and as He wrestled with this angelic being. He persisted and refused to let go. He knew he was contending with God, yet he prevailed in the struggle. He wept and interceded in agonizing prayer. He was as he was in birth—he grabbed a hold of his brother’s heel and would not let go. Now he grabbed a hold of God and would not let go.

Prayer is to be conformed to God’s will. He will contend with us in prayer to bring us into conformity to His purposes. Yes, He will even oppose us. And, as we learn to more perfectly submit our will to God’s will, God will no longer prevail against us. Jacob was humbled in his wrestling with God and He was made limp in his hip as a physical reminder of the encounter.

It would do well for many of us to pursue God with this passion.

“So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, ‘It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared'”
Genesis 32:30


Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Day 224

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”
Isaiah 41:10

Our Father is faithful to us, and knowing our frailties He comforts us. More than an earthly father, He walks with us, holds us up, giving us assurance of His help. When life’s circumstances throw us into turmoil, He says, “do not be dismayed, I am your God.” Even though you may not sense His presence, He is saying He is there, He hasn’t let go, He is with you.

Our Father strengthens us. The Amplified Bible says, “I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties.” There is a progression where He builds strength in us through trials and tribulations. He didn’t promise we would free of difficulties, but He would help us and assist in our needs. Further, He will hold us up and retain us with His victorious right hand of rightness and justice. When Paul was ministering in the midst of great trial, the Lord spoke to him in a vision and gave the same promise, “for I am with you, and no man shall assault you to harm you…” [Acts 18:10].

Our Father is an encourager. His divine presence and care continually encourages us as we walk before Him. In our weakness, His strength prevails, giving us His companionship in trials. His overshadowing care of us is so prevailing that we are unaware of the many ways He assists us. Ask the Lord to make you aware of His care.

“And even the very hairs of your head are numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows”
Matthew 10:30-31


Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Day 216

“I know that you can do all things;
no plan of yours can be thwarted”
Job 42:2

One of our greatest tensions is between self-strength and God’s strength. Even as Christians we continue to rely on our plans, ways and strength to carry them out. A minister speaking at a Bible School many years ago stated he had a plan to save the world and that all they needed to do was pray and get God interested in it! Although we may laugh at this, we probably do the same thing in many different ways. The heart can be very deceitful.

Job’s eyes were opened to this at the end of his ordeal. Although declared a righteous man by God, there was much more for him to learn. The greater revelation of God’s glory and omnipotence caused Job to declare, “My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” [verses 5-6]. It was at this moment that Job’s opinions died. He had been presumptuous and said foolish things. His self-strength had ruled and God gave him a quick lesson in Who’s strength he needed.

We need to have our eyes opened. Jesus showed us the way to walk in—”The Son can do nothing by Himself. He does only what He sees the Father doing” [John 5:19]. There are many mountains in our life and rather than facing them in self-strength, He has given us His strength to draw on. Our God has made a way for us and by relying on Him we have assurance of the outcome.

“With men this is impossible;
but with God all things are possible”
Matthew 19:26


Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Day 200

“My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength
of my heart and my portion forever”
Psalm 73:26

Tribulations are part of life. From physical to mental, many things can assault us in the course of a day. For many, relationships are an area of suffering. These affect our family, work, social, and life in general. Surprisingly, being a Christian does not exempt us from these life’s difficulties.

What most of us do, how we react under these circumstances, is to draw on our strength. Human nature has an amazing capacity to handle adversity in life. The problem is it is self-strength. The reaction is to the self. Asaph, the psalmist, said that when his flesh and heart failed, God was His strength. In his weakness, it was God who empowered and kept him. When all else had failed, he came to understand that he could only live in God’s strength. When He is our strength, we can trust Him. When we trust ourselves it is self-strength,.

When Joshua attacked Ai (in his own strength), he suffered a great defeat. He turned to the Lord and repented. The Lord said, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,” and Joshua became victorious so that not one man was left in Ai. When David was assaulted by His enemies, He turned to the Lord who delivered him from all his enemies. David declared, “It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect” (2 Samuel 22:33). Our Father desires to deliver us today from all our enemies and take us through adversity in victory. Self-strength will bring discouragement, fear and defeat. His strength makes our way perfect.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth
give way and the mountains fall into the sea, though
its waters roar and foam and the mountain quake
with their surging . . . The Lord Almighty is
with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Psalm 46


Monday, August 30th, 2010

Day 180

“Thou art my help and my deliverer”
Psalm 40:17

Deep in our nature there is a great desire to be accepted. It is the nature of love. Sin has twisted this in a way that we deeply struggle with these issues. Consider how much the word ‘self-esteem’ pervades discussions today. The wrongful expression of these deep desires leads to sin.

God greatly desires our love. He created us to love and know Him. And He longs to have our whole being and heart to love Him. But, how can we love God with our sin, faults, imperfections, failures, etc.? We are blinded by our own flesh. Even the best of our intentions, all our self-strength, strongest will, best efforts will not cleanse us or make us right. We may express our desire and say we love God, but our lives often seem to prove otherwise.

God is our helper. He can do what we cannot do. He can do what is not possible. That’s why He first loved us. Then He shed His love abroad in our hearts so we can love. And He promises to circumcise our hearts – cleanse us and make us right. He is a Father who looks upon His children with tenderness and will do whatever it takes to make us clean. He will lead, direct, and take us through life to accomplish His purposes. He is a glorious God full of grace and mercy for us, His children.

“The Lord will cleanse your heart …
so that you will love Him with
all your heart and soul”
Deuteronomy 30:6


Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Day 173

“Christ is all that matters”
Colossians 3:11

When all is said and done, Christ is all that matters. But, we are so occupied with life, details, news, relationships, business, family matters and everything else, we get lost in it. Instead of focusing on Christ we focus on the temporal. Yet, Christ is the only issue.

God the Father sent His son to redeem us. He paid a great price that defies understanding. Why the God of the Universe, who can command the armies of heaven and legions of angels to do His bidding, lowered Himself into human flesh and lived in humility among us is beyond comprehension. And why He would even consider us wretched people to be His sons and daughters defies all logic and reason. But, He did. And He did it out of love.

And now to us who are weak, unworthy, untrustworthy, lacking love and sometimes just outright sinners, He sends Christ who lives in us. It wasn’t enough He did all this for us, but He chose to take residence in our hearts. And He doesn’t jump in and out of us according to our condition of life. Cold, dull, don’t care, sinful, He is living us. He’s ready to reveal Himself to us. He’s ready to strengthen us and give us power. He is ready to do the impossible and make all things possible. Yes, when all is said and done, Christ is all that matters.

“And be sure of this:
I am with you always”
Matthew 28:20


Friday, August 6th, 2010

Day 156

“No one stood with me, but all forsook me . . .
But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me”
2 Timothy 4:16­17

Life is not perfect and Christians soon discover that even relationships among themselves do not always function in perfection. Look at the disciples and how they acted both before and after Christ’s death and resurrection. The scriptures record many conflicts, tribulation, betrayals in friendships. Where were the disciples when Christ hung on the cross?

Paul had two trials in Rome and in both instances suffered the loss of his brethren standing with him. Here he cites that “no one was at my side . . . all deserted me.” Not a single person presented themselves as a witness for his defense. Have you ever suffered the abandonment by friends, betrayal, or those that even became accusers? Very few go through life without this happening. There isn’t anything that can penetrate deeper than this loss. Yet, Paul said, “May it not be charged against them.”

Paul knew two things; the depth of Christ’s love and forgiveness of sin for His people, as exemplified when Peter denied Christ three times; and secondly, he knew through experience that Christ was a true Friend who did not change. Now at the end of his life, God stood with him and gave him strength in his hour of need. So it is with us also that when we stand alone our Savior is there ready to stand with us and strengthen us.

“I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
So I live my life in this earthly body by
trusting in the Son of God, who loved
me and gave Himself for me”
Galatians 2:20


Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Day 149

“In fact, we expected to die. But as
a result, we learned not to rely
on ourselves, but on God who
can raise the dead”
2 Corinthians 1:9

Knowing God our Father does not come from bible classes, reading and other’s experiences. Yes, we can know about God, but to truly know and understand Him, we must experience Him. Job found this out when he endured a severe time of trials and temptations. When confronted by God, Job said, “I had heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.”

Paul was in his Third missionary trip. He was a seasoned man of God, mature and great in knowledge when he encountered God. Suffering great persecutions, Paul said that he and his companions were crushed and completely overwhelmed. They had lost hope of continuing in life and thought they would die. It was at this point that Paul and those with Him came to know God in a greater way.

When everything fails, no other course is open to us and we are in our darkest hour where even hope is gone – it is here when all reliance on the self will end. It is also the place we can come to know Him. Paul said, “we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead.” Here we discover His faithfulness, strength, and mercy to us. He rescued Paul and his companions and they emerged with a greater knowledge of Him. Look for God to show Himself in your life.

“And the Lord shall deliver me from every
evil work and will bring me safely to
His heavenly Kingdom. To God be the
glory forever and ever. Amen”


Friday, July 30th, 2010

Day 148

“He will rescue us because you are
helping by praying for us”
2 Corinthians 1:11

When Paul mentions his missionary trip, he recounts the hardships he and his co-workers went through. It was so severe they thought they were going to die. They were under great pressure, weighed down, beyond their own strength to endure, all of which brought them to despair. They were crushed and overwhelmed to the point they saw no way of escape from death. It was a gripping account.

Paul states, in the midst of this ordeal, “we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead.” And learning to rely on God in the face of death brought strength and deliverance. God delivered them from mortal danger. It was at this point that Paul addresses his main point – they were rescued because the Corinthian church was helping by praying for them. The results of their prayers brought gratitude to God by many others who heard this account.

God has not just saved us. He has made us co-workers and it is a great honor to be among those that labor in the kingdom of God. The Corinthians finally discovered that when they heard how their prayers assisted Paul and his companions and served to have many give thanks to God. What a great opportunity we have because all of us, men, women, and children can pray! God has entrusted us with this work.

“They were holding golden bowls of incense,
which are the prayers of the saints”
Revelation 5:8