Sunday, June 26, 2016

10 Ways to Find Strength in the Lord

When I am praying for someone who is going through a difficult time, I often pray, “Lord, give them the strength they need to make it through this time.” While this prayer is good, and God understands what I'm asking, I have come to believe there is a better way to pray for them. I was reading some verses recently, and realized that, if we are Believers in Jesus Christ, we already have the strength we need to get us through the difficult times, because the LORD is our strength. But, just like King David in the verse below, sometimes we need to FIND that strength.
1 Samuel 30:6 - David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God. (NIV)
Instead of praying for God to give someone strength, I have now started asking, “Lord please help them FIND the strength they have (or can have) in You.” When we lose sight of our strength, the troubles of this world can easily discourage us and weigh us down. It is one of Satan’s tactics of silencing our witness for the Lord. So, when we are discouraged, we may need to change focus in order to FIND our strength once again.  

How do we FIND our strength in the Lord? 
Here are 10 ways:
1.  By trusting in Him, and not in our own understanding of things.
Proverbs 3:5 - Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (ESV)

2.  By believing that all things work out for the best for those who love God.
Romans 8:28 - And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
3. By waiting for the Lord.
Psalm 27:14 - Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! 

4.  By praising Him. Even when things are hard. Why? Because He is our God and is worthy of our praise. Praising him, with our words and with our songs, helps us to focus on HIM and on the love and care He has shown us.
Psalm 145:3 - Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.

5.  By thinking about the things that are worthy of praise. Refuse to dwell on the negatives.
Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
6.  By giving thanks. You don’t have to like your circumstances, but you can choose to focus on the positive things surrounding them, and to be grateful to God for His unconditional love and care for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 - give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

7. By giving your burdens/anxiety to the Lord. Let Him carry them. You have to CHOOSE to do this. He won’t carry them for you unless you place them on His shoulders first.
1 Peter 5:7 - Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
8. By setting your mind on the things above. By realizing this is not your permanent home.
Colossians 3:2 - Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

9.  By persevering, realizing our sufferings are helping us to grow in our Christian walk.
Romans 5:3-5 - but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
10.  By running the race set before us, looking forward to the finish line.
Hebrews 12:1-2 - Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

A few more verses about our strength in the Lord:
Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Isaiah 40:29 - He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.

Isaiah 40:30-31 -  Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Psalm 46:1 - ...God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Isaiah 12:2 - “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”



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