Discovering Hope for Today:
Our God is strong enough to take our greatest sorrow and turn it into our greatest triumph.
Scriptures of the Day:
Psalm 59: 16-17
16 “As for me, I will sing about your strength; I will praise your loyal love in the morning. For you are my refuge and my place of shelter when I face trouble. 17 You are my source of strength! I will sing praises to you! For God is my refuge, the God who loves me.”
“God has declared one principle; two principles I have heard: God is strong,12 and you, O Lord, demonstrate loyal love. For you repay men for what they do.”
“Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
“You measure the greatness of a man by how much it takes to discourage him.” (The Late Jerry Falwell)
“Be strong” is common advice given for people going through challenging seasons. But where does the strength come from when people are broken, feeling helpless and hopeless? Does merely telling them to be strong help? And a personal favorite spoken to me numerous times: “You are a strong woman. God must have known you could handle all this”. Oh no, He didn’t. He knew I could not handle the messes that transpired in my life, but He could.
A man is not strong because he is formidable in appearance. He is strong because he knows where his strength comes from.
What is this strength we speak of? How do we tell someone to get it? Webster defines strength as “the quality or state of being strong, in particular.” Wow. That’s helpful. Sounds kind of like that advice I mentioned above: just be strong. The word, “strong” is defined as “able to withstand great force or pressure.” Now we’re getting somewhere. But how?
Like Webster, sometimes the counsel we offer people who are suffering is veiled. Rather than telling someone they are strong or to be strong, we need to show them where to find unending strength. Really find it.
The hurts of this world scream out for strength and deliverance.
Today a precious woman wrote to me about the suffering of her daughter who was raped. A mom weeping for her daughter, trying to find hope – strength to be able to handle the deepest sorrow she ever faced. How could she give this strength to her daughter?
Another precious lady wrote about her desperation for healing. She almost died. But God.
A couple is struggling to hold onto their marriage. It seems impossible. But God.
A few nights ago a crazed individual decided to kill multiple people. Loved ones left behind try to find the strength to accept their heavy loss. No answers. Seemingly no upside to this horrific disaster. But God.
Where does this strength we speak of come from?
“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
I write about hope in my ministry because it was hope in God alone that gave me the strength to carry on when I was in a constant state of devastation. I knew I was not strong enough, but my God was. He Who was strong enough to form the world and all its inhabitants, to part the sea, to raise the dead, to willingly suffer and pay for the sins of the entire world . . . He is strong enough to carry us when we have to walk through life’s painful valleys.
It is not merely the recitation of Scripture that brings us strength but believing in the One Who gave us the Scriptures.The weakest among us can become the strongest through Christ. God will give strength to us to endure hardship and suffering – He promises to – but more than that, He will use that place of pain to strengthen us and set us free.
Oh God, help us to run to You and to access Your strength when life hurts. You are enough and when we delight in You, we are strong! Help those who are reading this blog who need strength from You, oh God. Grant them healing and enable them to stand in You, all for Your glory!