Day 4: Relying on God’s Strength
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:26 NIV
I used to get so mad when I wasn’t strong enough to do something. Like open a jar or carry a heavy box. I’d get angry with myself for not having the strength to do it.
But then, I was introduced to a spiritual discipline that changed my perspective. It was an exercise which involved prayerful meditation on Job 38-40, the passages where God challenges Job on who he is or more to the point, who he is not. The purpose of the exercise was to embrace your finitude —we are not God, we are limited.
The discipline left me face down on the floor before Him. Humbled. Repentant. Realizing I had put myself in His place when it came to my expectations of my strength. I wanted to be God. Self-sufficient. Strong. The exercise in prayer left me forever changed. Willing to accept my finitude and my need for His strength…
I often marvel at people who have worked extra hard to develop tone, well defined muscles. There they stand beside me at the gym straining… lifting… repeating movement all to develop strength. Building strong muscles takes a bit of tearing down. As we lift weights our muscle fibers tear slightly and the body rebuilds them stronger. Trusting God’s strength is much the same. As I let go of my own strength, and allow Him to rebuild it with His… the more I trust Him.
Strength is a trustworthy quality. We desire strong families and friendships. We want to be strong: physically, intellectually, emotionally. The world encourages us to build strongholds through solid financial portfolios, dependable relationships, tight family units, and the pursuit of education and knowledge. Whatever we are depending on, unless it is God, it will ultimately stand up no better than a house of cards.
Whoever trusts in his riches will fall… —Proverbs 11:28 ESV
No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. —Psalm 33:16 NIV
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the Lord. —Isaiah 31:1 NIV
For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief. —Ecclesiastes 1:18 NIV
There is not enough wealth in the world to protect us. There is not enough physical force, ingenuity, or knowledge to keep us safe. There are not enough strong, able-bodied, powerful people to deliver us from danger. Natural disasters — hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes —cannot be stopped by any of the things the world encourages us to pursue. Physical diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s cannot be overcome by anything in this world. There is only one trustworthy source of strength that saves: God.
God’s strength is His glory.
Who is the King of glory? The Lord Almighty — he is the King of glory. —Psalm 24:10 NIV
God’s glory is the sum total of His strength: His majesty, His honor, His splendor, His authority, His sovereignty. God’s strength gives Him glory — He is the Lord Almighty. His strength is His power over all He has created.
Read the following verses and list the benefits of God’s strength in your journal.
- Exodus 15:3-4
- Matthew 4:23
- Psalm 93:4
- Psalm 4:8
No army, no disease, no storm, and no anxiety are a match for God. Trust His strength. It is the only thing worth trusting.
Splendor and majesty flow out of him, strength and joy fill his place. Shout Bravo! to God, families of the peoples, in awe of the Glory, in awe of the Strength: Bravo!
1 Chronicles 16:27-28 The Message
Talk It Out
Talk it over with yourself:
The world often views those who believe in God as weak and unable to face life on their own. How do you view those who put their faith in God? How do you view those who see Christian faith as a weakness?
Talk it over with God:
Praise God for His glory and strength. Ask God to help you put aside your trust in worldly things and help you learn to trust His strength above everything else.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1 Corinthians 1:25 ESV
Exercise Your Faith
We serve a strong God. Name something that keeps you wondering if God really does have enough strength.
Give thanks for His strength in this issue.
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