The phrase "Be strong" occurs about 40 times in the Bible and the Lord expects us to claim the grace to keep His commandment. I want to give you some verses about this. Take time to read each of these verses, maybe even aloud, so the full weight of these commands settle into your soul. I've listed them in the order they appear in Scripture.
Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
Joshua 1:9, “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
I Chronicles 28:20, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.”
II Chronicles 15:7, “Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.”
I Corinthians 16:13, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”
Ephesians 6:10, “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might”
II Timothy 2:1, “… be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
Do you think the Lord is trying to tell us something? He makes available the strength we need from the God we serve, and He gives us a commandment about it to obey. He expects us to be strong in Him, in His power, in His promises, and in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We must choose His strength.
We spend so much time worrying about the outward man, and yet it's the inward man, the real person that lives within us, our soul and spirit, that makes the difference. When you go through difficult times, it's from the reservoir of your spiritual strength that you survive. It's not really how well off you are physically. It's from your spirit.
I've pastored churches long enough to witness an endless parade of suffering—serious illnesses, sudden tragedies, unexpected losses, destroyed relationships, employment disruptions, parenting heartaches, financial strains. Some of these have crowded into my own life. I can tell you as a Christian and as a pastor, it's the joy of the Lord that fuels our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). It's the strength of the Lord that gets us through. I can't face a single day—not an hour or a moment—without the Lord's strength. I can't pursue the work He's given me without His supernatural strengthening of the inner man. Without Him I can do nothing.
In times like these, your own strength will never suffice. It's not natural energy we need, but supernatural strength. On the basis of Scripture, I can give you this promise for every day: In Christ, you have the strength you need from the God you serve through the command He gives.
In His Amazing Grace,
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