** I will strengthen thee; ** Isaiah 41:10c
Life is full of moments or even seasons when we think we just can’t go on. Perhaps we have lost physical or emotional strength, or even spiritual strength to continue to face the daily battles of our own lives or those of our loved ones. Our personal world of circumstances can overwhelm us and drain us of our strength.
As always, the Lord is there to rescue us.
One of the easiest and quickest ways to be infused with a shot of energy from the Lord is given to us in both David’s and in Daniel’s stories of faith.
** My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word. ** Psalm 119:28
** and said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me. ** Daniel 10:19
Both David and Daniel were strengthened by hearing the Lord’s voice. Daniel heard it in an audible type voice while in a vision, but David ran to where he knew he could hear the Lord’s voice anytime, to God’s written Word, for his strength.
We can do the same thing. When life wears us out, we can find strength when we open the Bible and ask the Lord to lead us to the words that will get us back on our feet.
Looking at our verse a little closer, we also see that the Lord promises us in Isaiah 41 that He will strengthen us.
WILL. An affirmative declaration.
WILL. Future tense.
When the Lord says something, He means it. If He says it will happen, it will. So, in our verse we can believe that, yes, He will strengthen us without any doubt. We can also understand that it may be over time or in the future. I will try to explain.
Each of us has two parts. The ‘us’ part and the ‘God’ part.
The part that is ‘us’ is full of ‘I’: I want, I need, I like, I am right, I know what I am doing, I am most important.
The part that is ‘God’, (*Christ in us, the hope of glory*) : God wants, God is right, God always knows what He is doing, God is most important.
These 2 parts are at odds with each other.
The thing is that once we become a child of God and He takes up residence within us in the form of His Spirit, He is now in charge. So, even though we still want what we want, God is going to get what He wants and what is best for us, sooner or later.
The Lord does this by allowing us to wear ourselves out, trying to fight against the circumstances of our life on our own. He allows us to try all of our own ways to fix things, control things or force things to turn out the way we want them to. Until we are at the end of our own strength.
This is where our verse comes in.
When you and I just ‘can’t’ anymore, we have no choice but to finally turn to the Lord for help.
In the third chapter of Ephesians, Paul prays…*that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; *
Our inner man is the presence of God in us. It is His Spirit working daily to push out the ‘me’ part of us and make more room for the ‘God’ part of us. This process begins the moment we accept the Lord as Savior.
The Lord continues to work this process in many ways. He does it through the transforming power of His Word and He will use all of the problems that we have often talked about: Finances. Health. Failure. Broken relationships. As well as more extreme heartaches like the death of a child or spouse.
Every little and big trial we encounter on any day is a test to see who is in charge. Our ‘Me’ or God? Our flesh or God? Our will or God’s?
The Lord allows all of these trials to occur in our lives so He can ask us these questions:
Who is in charge of your life, you or me?
Who has more strength, you or me?
Who takes better care of you, you or me?
Who knows what’s best for you, you or me?
Because God is rich in mercy, He never asks these questions or sends problems without offering answers and solutions. He never allows pain without sending comfort. He never takes anything away without giving something back.
So, when we are without strength, we can ask ourselves that list of questions and be honest with ourselves about what the answers really are.
And we can look for what God is doing that is kind and good in the midst of our problem. Yes, the pain is there and very real. But His grace and goodness and kindness is there, too, to help soothe the pain and sustain us through it.
While we are watching for the good that the Lord is doing, and we are waiting for the Lord to strengthen us, we are going to have to search inside ourselves and find what it is that the Lord needs us to let go of. We are probably going to have to let go of some of our control. We are going to have to yield something in ourselves over to Him.
This process is painful for all of us, because we all want our lives to be to our liking. But the Lord calls us to something higher and greater and more beautiful. It is the life that HE wants for us. The life that will reflect more of Him. The life that will impact others eternally. The life that will exalt our Savior and draw others to the feet of the cross!
Whatever problem we are walking through right now, we can find strength in surrendering something of ourselves into His trustworthy Hand. Whatever it is that He is asking us to give up, He will restore something even better in its place.
When we go to the Lord in need of strength, He will answer, in His way and in His time, for our good.
We will talk about more ways that the Lord strengthens us in future posts. For now, rest in Him until your strength is renewed like the eagles.