I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. - Psalm 18:1
I use the word strength a lot these days, as in "I need to increase my strength" or "strength training." One of the most important things I can do for my joint issues is to build up strength in the surrounding muscles. Stronger muscles mean stronger and more stable joints. Weaker muscles result in the joints slipping in and out of place, forever causing pain and complications. So, as much as it hurts and as much as I don't feel like it, I spend several hours each week working to gain strength.
Similar to my physical issues, when we are without strength, things tend to get out of joint spiritually, emotionally and even mentally.
When we're tired and weary, we fall prey to temptations and dangerous snares in our lives. Too tired to put up much of a fight, we give in to things we know we should resist. The bad news is that this happens because we are acting in our own strength. The good news is there is a better way.
God is our strength, and unlike the strength I'm trying to gain in my muscles, this strength does not have to be gained or maintained. It is freely given to every Christian; we need only accept it.
And here's another remarkable thing. God is our strength (Psalm 18:1). God gives us strength (Philippians 4:13). And God increases our strength (Isaiah 40:29). That's a lot of strength available to us if we will only receive it, But that's where we have an issue. Sometimes, we have a difficult time getting out of our own way so that God can work in and through us. Whether it be pride or self-sufficiency, we feel that if something needs to be done, we must do it and we fail to remember that we don't have to do it alone. In fact, we shouldn't do it alone.
Ironically enough, one of my favorite verses about God as our strength can be found in Psalm 73:26, which we quoted yesterday in relation to God being our portion.
My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
When my flesh fails (and let me tell you, this hits home for me), God is still my strength. When my heart fails and I feel I can't go on, God will be my strength. No matter what befalls me, no matter what comes my way, I can do all things through Christ because He is my strength.
My challenge today is that we not wait until our flesh and heart fail before we allow God to be our strength. May we lean on him in the good times and the bad, for that is His desire.