Good morning all-
This morning I woke up with one thing on my mind, what does it mean to be strong? The world would tell you it's a hard person who can fire, lead, and be brutal. They would also say it was someone that could lift hundreds of pounds. Possibly it's a single mom who raised her kids alone, while working three jobs or someone that shows no emotion. All these examples are what we believe strong looks like. It's the picture we place in the forefront of our minds to illustrate what strong looks like and yet, I'm not sure that's what strong means at all.
Dictionary.com explains strong in five ways but for today we are just going to use the 5th. It states strong is, "of great moral power, firmness, or courage: strong under temptation."
Interesting, you can be strong in physical nature and strong in mental capability and then you can be strong in spirit. Yes, there are lots of definitions for strength but I like the one where we need Jesus. I like the one that says we can fight temptation, be firm and have courage. These are the attributes God is calling us to have today.
I'm known to be a strong person, not physically but mentally. I don't cry a lot, I make decisions faster than most men and I don't need a lot of coddling. I'm rarely super emotional unless I'm upset with my teenager and I can take a situation and problem solve it to death. I think more like a man but I am definitely a woman. The key is I'm just seen as being strong but underneath all the layers I know my strength comes from Him not me. He has been my rock since the day I said, "Yes." He has stood by me while I have made stupid mistakes and He has sat by me while I mourned alone the loss of those I loved. He has been my foundation for living and when I can't get out of bed, He lifts me up and I am back making decisions and fighting the good fight. I'm not as tough as everyone thinks but I do have a maker that is tough, that fights my battles and gives me courage to partake in life. Without Him, I would have been lost many times but with Him I am strong.
The theme of the last week has been on courage. In order to have courage we must be strong, not by ourselves, but through Him. He is the reason we are here and He will lift us up when we need strength. We do not become who we are without the help of Jesus. We may inherently believe that we are powerful but without Jesus we are weak. I love to remember that when I think I have everything under control and often, if I don't relinquish it, I find Jesus reminding me. Only He has everything under control, only He holds the keys to eternity and only He can give us strength. Thank goodness!
2 Timothy 2:1 NKJV:
You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 6:10 NKJV:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
Psalm 136:12 NKJV:
With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, for His mercy endures forever.
My prayer today:
O, Lord grant me Your everlasting strength. Hold me and keep me all my days as I worship at Your feet. You are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Who should deceive you? No one because You are the God that has lasted through time. You have built towers for men. You have built strong walls that could not crumble. You have protected cities and nations, while men tried to burn them. You are our stronghold. We must trust in You for all that is good. Our lives depend on You giving us strength to endure the end times. So today, we walk in Your presence, we read Your word and we are in awe of who You are. We count on the fact that You will raise us up to be strong in You. For our strength is not in us but it resides in You. We want to be strong in You Lord, strong in Your grace and strong in Your hands. There is no place we wish to be more. You are all we need and people all over the world are coming before You this morning telling You so. We want to die to our flesh, repent of our sins and have You wash us clean as snow. Give us strength to be obedient and to love others as You have called us too. I'm thankful for every minute we have together and I come before You praying for those that are weak, give them strength and bind them with Your everlasting presence. We are a fallen world that needs our Savior, come today my Lord and bless Your people. In Jesus name, AMEN...