When I think of the word strength I think of exercising. We can go to the gym and lift weights to increase our arm strength. We might even make a habit out of running to develop leg strength. But, when it comes to real strength, only Jesus gives us what we need to be “heart” strong. The Bible says, “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”- (2 Chronicles 16:9) Our next gift that Jesus has for us, STRENGTH, isn’t just physical power, but the miraculous opportunity to live life like God intends for us.
The life we’ve been given is for loving the Lord and loving others. After all, if we go all the way back to Eden we sense the simplicity and beauty of life the way God designed it be lived. God made man in His image and placed him in paradise to be in relationship with Himself and each other. Thousands of years later, sin has clouded our vision, making us think that somehow WE can discipline ourselves long and hard enough to be STRONG for whatever life throws our way.
Instead, when we realize this and seek to love the One who gave us life and seek to love others, we are filled with the same strength that made the galaxies, the Grand Canyon, and even raised Jesus from the dead! By doing so, we become a light in our dark world so that everyone may see Him for who He really is. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” -(Deuteronomy 6:5) With every thing we do, the Lord’s gift of strength, helps us love Him and others because His strength is supernatural.
This is a vital thread running through the Old Testament. Nehemiah undertook a very strenuous task of rebuilding the city wall around Jerusalem. He had a lot of detractors. Many people hoped he’d quit. His spirit for the project was weak. In the middle of it all, Nehemiah prayed: “Now strengthen my hands.” Nehemiah used his hands to love the Lord and through the answering of his prayer, the Lord filled him with supernatural power to complete the task!
Job declared the same truth, “you have strengthened my feeble hands.” -(Job 4:3) Psalm 119:28 says, “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.” And the prophet Isaiah wrote, “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.” -(41:10) In all of these examples, God does the doing, as we abide in Him through faith. When we receive this powerful gift, we are also acknowledging that we cannot do anything of eternal worth on our own: “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.” -Isaiah 58:11
The thread of God’s strength being given to us as a gift of grace is also woven throughout the New Testament:
Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God -Romans 4:20
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, -Ephesians 3:16
…being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience… -Colossians 1:11
It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them. -Hebrews 13:9
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. -2 Thessalonians 3:3
Dear Friend, remember that God-given strength isn’t earthly power, but rather a miraculous chance to move mountains in love for His glory!