Isaiah 40:28-31 (Message)
Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.
There are a large number of small children and babies in our church as our children begin to produce the next generation. After each service, they are released from the nursery as parents scurry to keep them from overrunning the sanctuary. As I sit and watch the young people gather their brood, I am amazed at their energy and stamina. I can remember when my babies were small but cannot seem to find the endurance that I once had to keep up with them. My strength is gone. We are down to one high school-age kid and a middle-school kid. They are pretty much self-sufficient able to do their homework with little assistance and without constant attention. They are able to take care of their daily needs. They do not require constant supervision any more although I still pay close attention it is not of a physical nature. Where did all my strength go? Why do I feel weak and weary now that I get more rest than ever before? There are seasons in our life when we feel strong and other times when weakness seems to prevail. It is all part of God’s Plan for us, so do not be dismayed. There is a time in life for everything, (Ecclesiastes 3:11) even a time to find new strength.
Deuteronomy 8:17-18 (Message)
If you start thinking to yourselves, “I did all this. And all by myself. I’m rich. It’s all mine!”—well, think again. Remember that God, your God, gave you the strength to produce all this wealth so as to confirm the covenant that he promised to your ancestors—as it is today.
How quickly we forget? God’s Strength in our life is quite powerful. But it is also very internal. It is sometimes challenging to remember that our accomplishments in life are all from God who gives us the ability to produce good things in our life. It all comes from Him even though it seems like it might have been our own talents. Every good thing in our life comes from the Lord without exception. It is only human nature to forget and assume responsibility.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (Message)
Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.
When faced with weakness, sometimes we may fall or stumble. The decent may be a little or sometimes a lot but the Grace of God is always enough. It is all that you really need to stay on track with the Lord lining up with His Word, Will and Way. We pursue strength in the vulnerability of weakness. “I will do it myself” are some of the first assertive words uttered by a toddler who learns to communicate. Our sinful nature sees dependency as weakness so is always vying to regain control of the surrendered life of a believer. No matter how spiritually “strong” you may think you are, this attack comes repeatedly in our life. In the extravagance Love of God for His Children, He does assert His Sovereignty. He doesn’t have to. God is God. There is no one like Him. There is no other being as Great or Powerful as the God who we serve. The finite limitations of human thinking become distinguished in pride thinking that we are better than we really are because the God in us is making a wonderful masterpiece of our life. (Ephesians 2:10) The fact that He does more than we think to ask for causes us to become confident in human wisdom that goes beyond comprehension rather than a God who loves us that much. This is why our weaknesses are found to be so perplexing. The Spirit of God living in us empowers and strengthens us. But when we begin to think our power and strength belongs to us or comes from us, weakness is our reminder that I can do nothing apart from Jesus Christ.
Romans 15:1-2 (Message)
Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”
The Message is not the usual translation of the Bible I use for study. But sometimes when I want to shake things up, I look to other translations of the Word of God to stimulate my thinking. Same verse different words. When I came across this verse today, it became new and relevant all over again. “Strength is for service.” God gives me the strength and stamina to serve Him. He gives me strength to serve others and be His Hands, Feet and Voice to the world. It is not for status. Not even the status called righteousness. When it comes to making things right with God, I am powerless. But when I accept the Gift of Salvation, I become strong again. I can live in that strength and only experience weakness if I deviate from it. My faith makes me strong – nothing else. My confidence in the Lord is the anchor of hope that I hold tightly to when things get rough. Greater is He who lives in me than he that is in the world. It is all God in me that makes me strong. I overcome weakness by my faith in God alone. Hannah believed and sang praise to the Lord in knowing that it is by trusting God that we find our strength in this life. (I Samuel 30:4-7)
Psalm 37:37-40 (Message)
Keep your eye on the healthy soul, scrutinize the straight life; there’s a future in strenuous wholeness. But the willful will soon be discarded; insolent souls are on a dead-end street. The spacious, free life is from God, it’s also protected and safe. God-strengthened, we’re delivered from evil—when we run to him, he saves us.
As we strive to live in right-standing with God through Jesus Christ, we tap into His Power. God will withhold nothing good from His Children. As I learn to live in His Presence, I will separate my life from sin and darkness. The Light of His Love chases it away. In this position, I will become stronger with each passing day simply by avoiding temptation and overcoming tests of my faith determining to live apart from sin. I must strive for a healthy soul. I will scrutinize my life sticking to the Highway of Holiness. I will decide on strenuous wholeness firmly planted in faith and surrounded by hope. To fully embrace God’s Power and Strength is determined by my commitment to overcome my sinful nature and bask in the Presence of God both now and forever. God has given me room to move…closer to Him. He has granted me a spacious, free life. I am protected by His Love. I am safe in His Presence. Whether or not I choose to live there is my decision. It is where I find my strength.
Isaiah 35:3-4 (Message)
Energize the limp hands, strengthen the rubbery knees. Tell fearful souls, “Courage! Take heart! God is here, right here, on his way to put things right and redress all wrongs. He’s on his way! He’ll save you!”
Sitting with my family watching television, I noticed an advertisement for a new electric car. It seems that more and more are becoming available. I laughed and told my husband that I want one. He replied, “What if the power goes out?” As I struggle to find new strength today, I realize that the Power of God has not run dry but rather I have become disconnected. I must stay connected to the Power Source of my life to sustain strength and courage in this life. Without Him, I will be overcome. We must energize our faith by praising God for all the wonderful things that He has done for us or simply praise Him for Who He is which is also ample material. When we choose to pray during the difficult times in life, it reminds our mind that our soul is in control. (Habakkuk 3:17-19) If the enemy can only convince you that God’s not coming this time, and you will have to go it alone. Or if you will accept that this is just how it’s going to be without breakthrough or change, he will capture you with your own thoughts and negativity. But praise changes your mind about the Lord and what He is doing by reminding us of all He has done. Thankfulness calls to remembrance God’s Power and Glory in our life so faith arises making all things possible once again. (Psalm 138:1-3) Wisdom is strength. (Ecclesiastes 7:18) We must read, study and meditate on the Word of God until it sinks in deep enough to change our attitude and actions. Human strength cannot begin to compare to God’s Greatest Weakness. (I Corinthians 1:25) As we strive to know God more and more, His Power overtakes us and strengthens us to serve Him more.
Psalm 62:5-8 (Message)
God, the one and only—I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I hope for comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, an impregnable castle: I’m set for life. My help and glory are in God—granite-strength and safe-harbor-God – so trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be.
Thank you Lord for the “granite-strength” that you are today. I needed the reminder that it is your Power that makes me strong nothing I can do or replicate apart from you. So today I will find safe-harbor in your Love by putting all my faith and trust in You! You are my Helper. You are my Glory forever. I will trust you absolutely without reservation. My weakness is an opportunity to experience your Power and Strength all over again. Lord, keep me positioned so that I will always have your strength evident in my life. Everything that I hope for comes from you alone. I’ll wait as long as I have to for you to make me strong!
Psalm 63:1-4 (Message)
God—you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you! I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God, traveling across dry and weary deserts. So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in your strength and glory. In your generous love I am really living at last! My lips brim praises like fountains. I bless you every time I take a breath; My arms wave like banners of praise to you.