My new word for 2019 is strength, not my own strength, but strength from the Lord. There are many promises in God’s Word about strength, too many to count, but here are a few that stand out for me and hopefully will encourage you as well.
Isaiah 30:15 contains a formula for strength: “In quietness and trust is your strength.” One of the things that is clear is that God wants us to spend time with Him, studying His Word, praying, worshiping and listening for His Spirit to speak to our hearts. Our lives are so busy, and this world is so loud if we don’t make time and space in our hearts to listen and be still before the Lord we might miss what He is trying to tell us.
We also might miss out on the help He has for us when things are hard. Psalm 46:10 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.” We are told that in this world we will have trouble, and if you are not experiencing trouble in your life right now be sure that it will come. Turning to the Lord, trusting in Him is the best way to get help and find hope in your trouble. “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength..” Isaiah 40:31
God also promises to give us strength for our days. “As your days, so shall your strength be.” Deuteronomy 33:25b In other words whatever hard things come God will give you the strength you need. It is easy to get overwhelmed when we are looking at big projects, struggling with illness or burdened financially. When there is loss or trauma just living day to day can be difficult. I love the promise from Isaiah 40:28b-29, “His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.” What a great God we serve who understands us and strengthens us in our weaknesses.
Recently I read a poem from a woman named Annie Johnson Flint. She was an orphan during Civil War times who later became a school teacher. Early in her life she was disabled by arthritis so severe she was confined to a wheelchair and had to rely on others for support. As difficult as if was for her to write, she painstakingly wrote this very inspiring poem:
“When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
His love has no limit; His grace has no measure.
His power has no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.”
One last promise worth mentioning is found in Nehemiah. Nehemiah had the daunting task of leading the refugees from Israel in rebuilding the broken down walls of Jerusalem. The work was great, their resources were small, and they were under attack from their enemies. Halfway through they almost gave up and lost hope. Haven’t we all faced this dilemma? Halfway through our diet, our marriage, our big project we often are so weary and discouraged we want to give up. Our strength gives out. When we reach the end of our strength this is when can begin to rely on the strength of God. We may start things in our strength, but to complete those things He is calling us to do we have to do it in His. Nehemiah prayed, “O God, strengthen my hands.” (6:9), and He did. Later on we read how God imparts His strength through joy: “the joy of the Lord is our strength.” (8:10)
As you enter this New Year of 2019 rest assured that God loves you. He has work that He wants you to do for His kingdom that is right in front of you. Be alert to where He is leading you, and trust in His strength to sustain you, empower you and to fill you with His joy.
God bless and strengthen you all.