Logan Sizemore | June 8, 2020
Finding Strength in God
Written by: Logan Sizemore, Discipleship Intern
It's no secret that many of us are tired, weary and overstretched. We're overwhelmed with jobs, children, responsibilities and important decisions. Then add the plethora of spiritual battles taking place in and around us. We may find ourselves asking, Can I overcome this? God, How can I do what you're asking me? The response to these questions is this fact: You can't. Jesus tells us in John 15:5 ...apart from Me you can do nothing.
Today it's easy to have a false sense of control over our lives, finances, safety and careers. But suddenly we get a reality check. When we unexpectedly lose our job, we face the realization that we don't have as much control over our employment as we thought. A vandalized home warns us that we aren't entirely safe, even when we lock all the doors. A worldwide pandemic insistently reminds us we have control over nothing in our world.
But there is good news, a cry of freedom and victory! God has proven Himself in and through all of creation for all of eternity past, present and future. Just open the Old Testament and read of His mind-blowing power, sovereignty, deliverance and faithfulness to His people. Read the New Testament and see that when we're weary and ready to give up, we can remember that there is One who can identify with our every struggle. One who was like us in every way (Hebrews 2:17), who can sympathize with our weaknesses, and who was tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). One who was beaten, mocked, reviled and crucified. What great weakness Jesus' body must have felt, and this pales in comparison to the divine wrath He took on for the sins of the world. Yet in a few days, He was gloriously resurrected to life. We have the same future hope.
We can find examples of God's strength in the disciples and throughout the early church. Just look at Peter. Less than 100 days after denying Jesus three times, he boldly proclaimed the resurrection to the same rulers, elders and scribes who crucified his Lord Jesus! He was not the same Peter, but one filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. The disciples prayed for boldness, and they received it (Acts 3-5). Paul even boasted of his weaknesses in 2 Corinthians 12:6-10. Read Hebrews 11, sometimes called the Hall of Faith. Be reminded that we're preceded by great witnesses, who by their example, encourage us to run the race set before us, as we look to Jesus' work and example (Hebrews 12:1-2). Remember, the same kinds of suffering, and much worse, are being experienced by believers throughout the world (1 Peter 5:9).
The Lord is our strength, shield, refuge, savior and shepherd (Psalm 28:7-9). He is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness (Psalm 86:15). He's given us a Great Counselor, Comforter and Helper in the Holy Spirit who dwells in us and empowers us. Our Lord has promised to be with us always (Matthew 28:20). His strength is more than enough, so ask Him for it, then thank Him.
For Study and Reflection:
- Read Psalm 22
- What are ways David describes his situation?
- Can you identify with any of these?
- What praises does he give to God despite his situation?
- What praises can you give God despite your situation?
- How do we see this passage used in the gospels, especially Matthew 27?
- Read 2 Corinthians 12:6-10
- What reasons does Paul give for his situation?
- Sometimes our weaknesses are immediately removed upon asking, but in Paul’s situation they were not. How does he display faith and trust in God despite this?
- Could you say verses 9-10 are true for you?
- What step can you take to submit and align yourself under these words?