There are many moments in life when we feel like we've exhausted our
strength and we can't go on any longer. We feel like giving up because all
we see is heartache and discouragement. We feel like we've been forsaken
and forgotten and that all of our efforts are all in vain. What we must
realize in these moments of testing is that God's strength is made perfect
in our weakness. When we can no longer carry our burden, the Lord will be
there to carry it for us. When we can't walk another step, the Lord will
be there to carry us through. When we want to bury our heads in surrender,
the Lord will lift us up, He will strengthen us and He will whisper in our
ears “I am right here with you.” Isaiah 40:29 declares “He giveth power
to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength.”
(2 Corinthians 4:8-10) (Matthew 11:28-30)
The Lord will never leave our side no matter how bleak our situation may
seem. Our job is to stay in faith no matter how discouraged we may feel.
Our assurance must be unwavering because our God is faithful. Psalm 46:1-3
declares “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the
mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof
roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake...” We can be confident
that our ending will be much better than our beginnings. Every heartache
will serve a purpose and every setback will be to our benefit in the end.
Believe it for yourself and know that every struggle, every trial and every
challenge will make you better, wiser and stronger than you were before.
Be confident in God and do not waiver in your faith. He will not He will
not He will not leave your side. (Isaiah 49:14-16) (Hebrews 13:5-6)
I hope this message inspires and challenges your heart to trust the Lord
in every circumstance and know that He will be with you at all times.
DEVELOPING MY STRUGGLE MUSCLES
Yesterday was one of those days. I was so pooped that I struggled to remain
upright at the dining room table. It took supreme effort to hold my head
up out of the soup bowl. Unfortunately, days like that are common for me.
I have a connective tissue disease that causes chronic pain and -- what's
even worse -- extreme fatigue.
If you've never experienced fatigue, you can't understand how debilitating
it is. It's not the exhilarating tired you feel as you relax in a hot tub
after aerobic exercising. Neither is it the contented tired you feel as
you sip lemonade on the porch swing after gardening all day. It's more of
a crash and burn, hit-the-wall, feel like you're dead or dying exhaustion.
I imagine it's the way the coyote feels who not only chased the roadrunner
all day but was also pulled through a wringer, hurled off a cliff, blown
up with dynamite, run over by a truck, squeezed through a knothole, and
then had an Acme safe dropped on his head -- all before lunch.
Exhaustion is that burn out toddlers experience when they've skipped their
afternoon nap. I can relate when I see a two year old in a shopping mall
throw himself to the floor sobbing. There are days I feel like doing that,
only I lack the energy required to cry.
The worst thing about chronic fatigue is that even after a full night's
sleep, I still don't feel refreshed. Most mornings I awake just as tired as
I was when I went to bed the night before, and I go downhill from there.
Fatigue is like a thirst that is never quenched or a hunger that's not
satisfied. I rarely get “enough” rest.
Though I've had to cope with weakness and fatigue for years, it still
frustrates me. I get angry when the most strenuous activity I can
accomplish is breathing in place. And I hate having to cancel outings at
the last minute because I need a crane to lift my body off the couch. It's
infuriating that I can be perky and ambitious one day while the next day I
need toothpicks to hold my eyes open, and I'm worn out just from dialing
long distance. All this got me so upset recently that I decided to do
something about it.
So I started complaining. That not only didn't help the situation, but
focusing on the negative made me feel even more miserable.
Then I found this passage in the Bible about weariness. Isaiah 40:29 says
that God gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
It explains that those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, run
without growing weary, and soar on wings like eagles. Hmmm. I don't feel
strong or powerful. I certainly don't soar, and I can't remember when I
ran last. Some days it takes all the energy I can muster just to move from
lying to a sitting position. So what gives? Where's all this power that
the Bible promises?
Here's a hint: God's not promising literal physical strength; but I'll bet
you knew that already. In His perfect will, He knows what we really need
and that's Inner Strength.
And guess what. The best way to develop strength within is to deal with
problems without – problems like physical ailments and fatigue. They may
wear down the body, but they can build up the spiritual muscles which I
call “struggle muscles.” When God gives strength to the weary, it may be
in the form of greater faith. We may not run faster, jump higher, or leap
tall buildings in a single bound; but we can likely feel our hope and our
relationship with Him grow stronger.
In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul wrote about being physically persecuted, hard
pressed, perplexed, and struck down, yet he was not crushed, destroyed, or
in despair. In the same way, even though my body isn't satisfied and
renewed by physical rest, my soul is satisfied by God and He revives my
weary spirit with spiritual strength.
Farther on in 2 Corinthians, in chapter 11, Paul lists some of his
hardships which included being beaten with rods, shipwrecked, stoned,
imprisoned, flogged repeatedly, and deprived of food, water, and sleep.
He'd been naked, cold and afflicted with a “thorn” in his flesh. Even so,
he could say he delighted in his weakness, hardships, and difficulties. He
explained that God's grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in
weakness. Paul wrote, “when I am weak, then I am strong.”
So now I've (tried to) replace my whining “Why me” attitude with a more
submissive “Whatever you want for me, Lord.” With that new perspective, I
still hope for the best; but I also prepare for the worst. And then I
accept whatever God sends.
Though I am weak and tired, I can be strong in His power.
By Marsha Jordan
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
James 1:2-5 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers
temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire,
wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth
to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
2 Corinthians 4:15-17 “For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant
grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the
inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but
for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
Jeremiah 29:11-14 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith
the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Then shall ye call upon Me, and ye shall go and pray unto Me, and I will
hearken unto you. And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search
for Me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD...”
Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? 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.”
Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I
deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known My name. He
shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and
shew him My salvation.”
All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.
Today's Selected Poem: WHAT IS FAITH?
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/enpoem118.htm
Today's Selected Testimony: JESUS IS THE FAITHFUL PROVIDER
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony96.htm
In Christ’s Service,
God’s Work Ministry