I Am Strong

I Am Strong

by Daniel Wagner, Student & College Pastor

It’s probably no surprise to any of you reading this that know me (or have seen me), that I’m very fond of the idea of strength. This natural draw to strength goes all the way back to my childhood. In one of my strongest early memories, I remember struggling to drag out two metal dumbbells that my dad kept under the bed in our guest room. I would watch my dad pick these weights up and lift them time and time again with relative ease, but remember using all the strength I had to move these heavy metal weights just one inch.

As I grew older and older these weights became easier to move each time I would find myself trying to test myself against a previously impossible task, and while my strength was still not at the level of my father’s, I would swell up in pride in my growth and improvement. Now, I’ve inherited those weights and lift them with the same (if not greater) ease that my father did all those years ago.  

So often our life is filled with some kind of struggle. We are faced with challenges, tests, trials, hard days, and straight up persecutions. We’re guaranteed difficulty in our life as we follow Jesus, but we still grow discouraged when we aren’t as far along in our trust and obedience as we wish we were. We are so often disappointed in our own strength when we think about how we struggle to make it through things we face.

We’re faced with challenges at every turn in work, family, friendships, and struggles with sin. Even in our victories and good days, we feel like we’re only moving things forward an inch at a time. Life feels like a struggle against our own personal weakness and the overwhelming strength of challenges in we face.

Our problem is our own human weakness. God solves that problem with His divine strength. He solves that problem by giving us His presence, power, and word.

God’s presence gives us strength.

Psalm 46:1 says “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” God is near to us, cares about our cares, and listens to what we have to say. The very presence of God in our lives strengthens us in our moments of weakness.  

God’s power gives us strength.

Ephesians 3:16 says “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through the Holy Spirit in your inner being.” The presence that God provides does so much more than give us just an ethereal, good vibe that takes our cares away. The Holy Spirit dwells within us, and God daily gives us supernatural power to withstand the things that Satan and the world would use to try to break us down.  

God’s word gives us strength.

Psalm 119:28 says “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.” God’s very words are given to us in the Bible. Words for encouragement, correction, and training in righteousness are there so that we may be strengthened in all areas of our lives.  

Just as our physical strength grows as we exercise, God builds more and more strength in us as we move towards Him and His strength. As we grow in the strength that God gives, the things that used to challenge us become easier as we grow stronger. Sure, we’ll still struggle, but as we grow we’re able to move on to bigger challenges in our faith.  

When we find that life closes in and we feel too weak for the challenges God has set before us, we can take confidence that these words in 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 are true for us, too “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” 

We are God’s people called by His name, set apart for His glory, sent out for His renown, called to live holy and pure lives. When the challenge of living our faith has us feeling weak, we can turn to God, our source of true and lasting strength.  

PRAYER PROMPTS

-        Tell God that you’ve relied on your own strength instead of His strength.

-        Thank God for ways that His strength has worked in your life.

-        Pray that God would help you see that He is the source of true and lasting strength.