Tag Archives: strength

Good Morning December 18

A friend of mine who is a serious woodworker used to say that when he felt down or depressed it was time to go buy another woodworking tool. That always picked up his spirits. Well, I’m not sure that’s the best remedy, and it certainly is only temporary. We all have times of feeling down. It is often a matter of the direction in which our eyes are looking. Are we looking only at the problems, or to the One who is greater than all we might face. Take some time today and read Isaiah 40, especially vss. 21- 31. “Do you not know? Have you not heard? … Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth. … To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? … Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.” Draw your strength from the Lord today.

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Good Morning July 19

Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”(2C.12:10) Now that is counter-intuitive. How can one be strong when they are weak? Yet, this is an important truth for all Christians, and sometimes a hard one to learn. We like strength and power to overcome challenges and adversaries. But for us, that strength is not in ourselves. It is not a part of our natural make up.  It is in our trust in the Lord.  The Psalmist wrote long ago, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.”(28:7)  Our strength is in humbly trusting in the infinite strength of our gracious God. Even Jesus, in His human flesh, said, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing…”(John 5:19) This doesn’t mean that we sit back and do nothing, but rather in everything we do we do it in humble trust of our Lord.

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Good Morning July 19

Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”(2C.12:10) Now that is counter-intuitive. How can one be strong when they are weak? Yet, this is an important truth for all Christians, and sometimes a hard one to learn. We like strength and power to overcome challenges and adversaries. But for us, that strength is not in ourselves. It is not a part of our natural make up.  It is in our trust in the Lord.  The Psalmist wrote long ago, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.”(28:7)  Our strength is in humbly trusting in the infinite strength of our gracious God. Even Jesus, in His human flesh, said, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing…”(John 5:19) This doesn’t mean that we sit back and do nothing, but rather in everything we do we do it in humble trust of our Lord.

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Good Morning January 16

We enjoy our homes. We try to make them as comfortable as we can. They are a place of rest and security. I weep when I see the pictures of refugees returning to their homes in the middle east that are nothing by rubble. Or pictures of a California family standing before a pile of ashes that was once their home. This is devastating.  One cannot minimize the heartache of such families as they try to rebuild homes and lives. But there must be something more, something that gives strength now,  and hope to move forward. Psalm 91 says “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Our true place of rest can’t be in the earthly structures we build. We have learned, all too often, how transient and vulnerable they are. Our strength, our hope, our rest, is only in the One who came among us, and who supports us in all of our times and needs. 

Good Morning November 23

One of the wonders of Scripture is that it shows the people in all of their faults as well as their good, their up days and down. In I Samuel 30 David was having a very down day. “The people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered…” He had failed to provide protection for their families, and they were in danger. That is a pretty down day! But verse six says that “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” He gained courage, and led his people to a great victory. Our situations probably are not quite as drastic as having to lead an army of 600, but our days can be pretty rough, too. But as David, we can strengthen ourselves in the Lord, take courage, and continue on with the job at hand. God never abandoned David and He will not abandon us. Find your strength in the Lord this day.

Good Morning March 18

When things happen, especially if they are bad or hurtful things, we want to ask the question, why? But actually, even having an answer to that question would not be very helpful. We could blame God, blame sin, blame somebody else’s stupidity, even, as a last resort, blame ourselves, but none of this helps. What we need to know is where God is in the midst of it all. The truth of Scripture tells us that He is not far off. Even if we don’t sense His presence, or see Him working, He is there. He cares about every situation we face, every trial that comes our way. If we have sinned, His forgiving grace is always available in Jesus Christ. His strength is sufficient to see us through. We have his assurance that even if a particular trial would be life long, it is still temporary. He promises a time when every tear is wiped away and all crying ceases. So it is not the “why” answer we need, but the “who”. And that who is the Lord Jesus Christ, the one loving us beyond measure, and standing beside us in all times.

Good Morning April 24

The traditional version of the third article of the Apostle’s Creed begins, “I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Christians church…..” In many churches the word “Ghost” has been changed to “Spirit”. After all, few people believe in ghosts, and those that do know them as apparitions wandering around in old houses. For the Creed, “Spirit” is obviously the better word, but even so, it is a confusing concept for many. Yet, He should not be confusing for Christians. The Holy Spirit is God. He is the third person of the Holy Trinity. He is the Comforter Jesus promised to send to all believers. You, dear Christian, have the presence of God dwelling in your life, God’s gracious gift received at your baptism. He is called the Comforter, the Guide, the Advocate, the Helper. No wispy spirit He, but the very presence of Almighty God given to dwell in your life. This is the depth of love God has for you, that He has come into your life Himself, to lead you more fully and completely into His good life.

Good Morning January 10

A story was told some years ago about a young woman missionary to one of the Asian countries. She had worked long and hard among the people, and loved them, but there was a lot of political unrest in the country. A band of gorillas attacked the village killing the people and burning the houses. She had been away at the time, and came back to find the devastation. She was heart sick. Everything she had worked for was take away. She walked into the house where she had lived. What had not been looted was burned, but on the floor she saw a photograph she had kept of her family whom she had not seen in years. She was over joyed that at least this remained, but when she reached for it, it crumbled in her hand. She cried out to the Lord, “Father, am I not allowed to keep even this?” In her heart she received the same answer as St. Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (ICorinthians 12:9) I don’t think any of us go through quite the devastation that this young woman experienced, but God’s words are just as true for us, in whatever our need.

Good Morning December 8

Psalm 73 is a wonderful Psalm of hope and strength. It is clear about the trials and temptations of life that plague us all. Yet the Psalmist’ focus always goes back to his only source of hope. “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.” (vs.25) This should be true for us in all times, whether good or bad. If God is our desire, our focus, the longing and hope of our life, then all things take on a different perspective. God takes all life’s situations, and all people we encounter, helping us to deal with them by His cleansing, strengthening, guiding touch. All parts of life look different with God’s hand upon them. “As for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge.” (vs.28)

Good Morning December 1

The family went to see Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory last evening. Well yes, our youngest child is 25, but it was fun for all nonetheless. It might have had something to do with the fact that it was sponsored by a local restaurant along with a beer and chocolate tasting, but that’s another story. It is fun to be a child and play with a bit of fantasy for a time. We live in a terribly serious world, but I think God looks at us like children playing in a fantasy world. We are running here and there at such a rapid pace, trying this direction and that, with no idea which road leads in the right way. Much is guided by pure selfish concern, as children in a chocolate factory. All the while ignoring the only true direction that gives stability and life. “This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’…” (Isaiah 30:15-16) Not much has changed in the 2700 years since that was written. Maybe it is time we gave up our running toward fantasies and turned to the only source of our strength.