The Promises of God - Day 6

God Will Give Us Strength: Part 2
Psalm 29:11:  The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.
 
In our last devotional, we spent time considering God’s promise to strengthen us.  God cannot lie, so He WILL lend us his strength.  God promises His presence, so His strength is always available. We can have confidence in that.  God never intended for to be strong on our own.  He WANTS us to depend on Him for strength.  But, if we’re honest, this is where it gets a but tricky.  How do we draw strength from God?  What does it look like when He does strengthen us?  Right now, some practical, real life application might be helpful, especially since the world we are living in is functioning so differently than it did 6 weeks ago.  Today, let’s consider practical ways to draw strength from God.

  • Begin in confession: Confession can be a bit of a loaded word for people who have grown up in church culture because it’s so often connected to the idea of confessing sin.  But sin isn’t the only thing God wants us to confess.  If you aren’t in the habit of confessing your struggles and concerns and the parts of your life that make you feel weak to God, begin doing that today.  Believe that God wants to hear those things from us.  Peter tells his elect exiles and through him God is telling us in 1 Peter 5:7: “Cast all of your anxiety on Him; He cares for you.”  Believe that God cares about the things that are causing you anxiety then confess those things to your Heavenly Father.  Your confession is your invitation to God to strengthen you in your weakness.  Invite him in through confession.

  • What is making you feel weak that you need to confess to God?  What are you trying to bear up under by your own ability? How will “casting your anxiety” on God free up energy that anxiety has been robbing you of?
  • Write down the things that are burdening you with anxiety and robbing you of strength.  Release them to God by “casting” them on Him in prayer.  Do it daily for a week as you ask Him to strengthen you through His power and grace.  Next Thursday, reflect on your growth and praise Him for His faithfulness.

  • Find Strength by Waiting on God’s Timing:  When we confess our anxiety to God and invite Him to lift that burden from us, we begin the process of reclaiming what God intends for us to use our energy on.  That alone will strengthen us.  The trouble is, after we confess our weakness, most of us immediately go to work trying to fix or better the situation.  When we go immediately to action after prayer, we rob ourselves of a very powerful moment with the Lord to regain strength– and that is the waiting. There is strength in waiting. There is FAITH in waiting.  When we release anxiety to God, He doesn’t intend for us to pick up a new form of strength-sapping work in trying to solve our own problems.  Faith requires that once we release our burden to the Lord, we wait for Him to work it out as He sees fit.  If we’re honest, that’s the hardest part.

  • What are you trying to fix, manage, control, or work out that you have asked God to intervene in?
  • What would it take for you to release that particular situation/relationship/burden completely to God?  Can you make a covenant with God not to take any action about your burden until He directs your steps?  Pray for leading and wisdom. God promises those to us as well – Psalm 32:8 and James 1:5. 

The resolution of what God has for us doesn’t mean that it will be revealed TODAY or TOMORROW.  What He has designed for his glory through our time of testing may require us to wait, but James 1:3 says that testing produces endurance. Endurance is a kind of Godly strength we miss when we jump straight to action.  If you are asking God for strength, begin by waiting on His direction and His timing.  Faith is strengthened, our dependence on God is strengthened, and our testimony of his faithfulness is strengthened when we wait rather than act.

  • Trust FAITH, not FEELINGS: When our lives are turned upside down and there is no sense of normal, it becomes quite easy to believe that how we feel is who we are.  But, church family, scripture is quick to point out that our feeling – or hearts – are not to be trusted. Proverbs 3:5, Proverbs 28:26, and Jeremiah 17:9 all warn about the dangers of trusting the “deceitful and foolish heart.”  Our feelings can’t be trusted because our feelings about things change. The opinions of others, becoming more informed, or even the circumstances of the day can cause our feelings about a particular subject to change.  In times of testing, we may feel weak, but that doesn’t mean that we are.  We have the strength of the Lord because he promises us to give it to us.

  • Read 2 Timothy 1:7. What kind of spirit does Paul say that God has already given us?

The word translated power in many versions is the same Greek word we looked at last time- dunamis, and it could have easily been translated strength.  Brothers and sisters, see that God has already given you a spirit of strength.  Place your faith in what God says He has given you, not in how you feel.  You may feel weak, but if you are a disciple of Christ, you do not have a weak spirit.  Believe that.  Claim that.  Reject the voice that says you can’t and hear the voice of the Savior that says: “I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand,” Isaiah 41:10.

  • Can identify a feeling you have right now that you KNOW is contrary to what scripture says?

Drawing strength from the Lord begins by believing the Lord wants to give.  God cannot lie and He says He will give us strength.  Believe that He will.  If your strength is still failing, confess your areas of weakness and invite the Lord in.  He wants you to do that.  After you confess your weakness, wait for God to work in your life.  Release what you told Him about and wait for His direction and timing.  Finally, draw strength from faith in what God says not in how you feel.  Feelings are deceitful because they change, but God himself tells us in Malachi 3: 6, “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.”  These times that we are living in will not consume us if we hear the voice of the Lord and rest our faith in Him rather than the voice of the world.  God promises us strength.  Claim His promise.  Do it by confessing your anxiety, waiting on His timing, and placing faith in God’s word not feelings.  Be strengthened today.
 
Be blessed, be a blessing.

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