The Christian’s Strength

 

The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall.

But those who wait on 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. – Isaiah 40: 28-31

The Strength Of The World Vs The Strength Of God

The strength of the world and the strength of God are so different. In the world strength is seen through military power – nations building bigger weapons and waging war. In economic power – companies buying other companies or those who use money to influence others. In political power – dictators arresting or executing those who refuse to follow them. In sexual power – those who exploit and ensnare others through pornography. We could give so many other examples.

In each case those who have worldly strength hold on to their power by intimidating, oppressing or seducing those with little strength. The strong in this world are glorified by breaking those under them. But the glory of God is seen through giving power to the weak. By giving and renewing and increasing the strength of those who take refuge in Him. Where the world forces down and breaks, God lifts up and rebuilds.

Now I’m sure there are people who say, “I have strength and power and I don’t abuse it.” Or maybe they say, “God isn’t responsible for my success. What I’ve accomplished I’ve accomplished on my own.” But remember Daniel 2:21, “He removes kings and raises up kings” and again in Matt. 5:45 “God makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Or think of John 19:10-11, where Jesus is refusing to answer Pilate’s questions. Pilate says, “Do you not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” And Jesus, who always introduces us to the big picture, answers, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.”

God gives a measure of gifts and talents to everyone. He raises and removes nations and individuals according to His Will. So even those who reject God owe their strength and talent to Him. On the other hand the strength that God gives to those who follow Him comes through acknowledging Him in faith.

Faith In Christ Is The Source Of Our Strength

Romans 16:25 says that God is able to establish or strengthen us according to the gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ. Habaccuk 2:4 tells us that “the just shall live by faith,” while in 1 Corinthians 2:5 we told that “our faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

So faith is the foundation of our lives and it’s what strengthens us. But what exactly is faith and what exactly are we to have faith in? Charles Spurgeon use to say that faith is made up of three elements — knowledge, belief, and trust.

There must first be knowledge – we must be informed of a fact. “How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” Romans 10:14 asks. We are introduced to the fact that Christ died for sinners and all who call to Him will be saved.

Next comes belief – we accept the fact as true. “Whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 promises. We believe that Christ paid the price of sin on our behalf.

The finally there’s trust – we place our hope in our belief. “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2 declares. We trust in Christ to make peace with God on our behalf.

So faith is believing that Christ is who He said He is, that He will do what He promised to do, and then expecting Him to do them. And through faith, the Bible tells us, we find our strength. What does this strength look like as we live it out in our daily lives? The strength that God gives through Christ isn’t limited by our circumstances.

Christ’s Strength Lived Out

The Lord isn’t helpless when difficult times come. Remember our text? Our Lord neither faints nor is weary. No situation is too great for Him. In this world we will have trouble, but Christ has overcome the world.

His strength gives us the power to not repay evil with evil, to turn the other cheek, to bless those who curse us. His strength enables to serve Him through good works, which God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Remember our text? They shall walk and not faint.

Through Christ we can do all things because His grace is sufficient. His strength is made perfect in our weakness Phl 4:13 and 2 Cor 12:9 tells us. Remember our text? “to those who have no might He increases strength”. When we are weak He gives us the power to go on when we trust Him.

His strength allows us to see the greater picture, to look past the problems of this life and see our circumstances as opportunities to grow and draw closer to Him. As it says in 2 Cor 12:10, “I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Remember our text? Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength.

I know that there are times when we feel so weak. I know there are times when we feel scared and we take our eyes off Christ. Sometimes we need to pray for God’s strength day by day, sometimes hour by hour. And when we pray Christ hears and gathers us unto Himself, just as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, where we’re safe from the storm and able to rest in His love.