Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The strength that comes from God

I've been meaning to post about this for some time, but I was so encouraged by the June 27 reading from Streams in the Desert. It has to do with the strength God gives us. I read this on a day when I was feeling particularly strengthless, and it really spoke to me. Maybe the Lord will use it to encourage someone else. I'm quoting some of the devotional text here, and I've added in the Bible verses that are alluded to.

The verse for the day was Psalm 68:28a --

"Thy God hath commanded thy strength."

And then the book quotes from The Silver Lining:

"The Lord imparts unto us that primary strength of character which makes everything in life work with intensity and decision. We are 'strengthened by might by His Spirit in the inner man'. And the strength is continuous; reserves of power come to us which we cannot exhaust."

"That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man." (Ephesians 3:16)

"As thy days, so shall thy strength be' -- strength of will, strength of affection, strength of judgment, strength of ideals and achievement."

"As thy days, so shall thy strength be." (Deuteronomy 33:25b)

"The Lord is my strength' to go on. He gives us power to tread the dead level, to walk the long lane that seems never to have a turning, to go through those long reaches of life which afford no pleasant surprise, and which depress the spirits in the sameness of a terrible drudgery."

"The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation." (Psalm 118:14)

"The Lord is my strength' to go up. He is to me the power by which I can climb the Hill Difficulty and not be afraid.

"The Lord is my strength' to go down. It is when we leave the bracing heights, where the wind and the sun have been about us, and when we begin to come down the hill into closer and more sultry spheres, that the heart is apt to grow faint.

"The Lord is my strength' to sit still. And how difficult is the attainment! Do we not often say to one another, in seasons when we are compelled to be quiet, 'If only I could do something!'

"Therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still." (Isaiah 30:7b)

"When the child is ill, and the mother stands by in comparative impotence, how severe is the test! But to do nothing, just to sit still and wait, requires tremendous strength. 'The Lord is my strength!' "Our sufficiency is of God!"

"My God shall be my strength." (Isaiah 49:5b)

"Not that we are sufficient to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God." (2 Corinthians 3:5)

All of this brought to mind something I recently read in Elizabeth George's wonderful book Finding God's Path Through Your Trials. It has to do with 2 Corinthians 12:9 -- "And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

Mrs. George wrote: "God's power comes to its full strength or finds its full scope in our weakness. All that we are able to handle and endure is because of Him. Enduring and succeeding is all by and of His grace, His sufficiency, His strength, His power, which stands in remarkable contrast to our absolute weakness...

"God's way is not always to take His children out of trials but instead to give them the strength to bear the trials. This needs to be our preferred condition because it allows God to be revealed and us to grow spiritually strong."

I hope that these thoughts about the strength God gives His children will encourage someone else as they have encouraged me!

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