Where do you find your strength?
In 2 Timothy 4:17 Paul wrote, “But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me.”
The Apostle Paul is in jail anticipating his execution and writing his final letter to Timothy. After explaining that many friends had abandoned him, he reminds Timothy that the Lord stood with him and strengthened him, so that Paul could continue preaching the gospel.
Like Paul, we are to live the gospel in every arena of life, yet at times it is difficult. We get tired. We feel alone. We want to quit.
That leads to an priority-altering question: Where do you find your strength?
From coffee? From a favorite song? From searching for “greener grass” jobs? From calling a friend? From glancing at the retirement countdown clock?
We must remember that God has us exactly where He wants us (unless we’re openly rebelling...but that’s another issue). He could have given you a different boss, but He didn’t. He could have given your kids different learning abilities, but He didn’t. He could have given your loved one better health, but He didn’t. His perfect purposes are at work, and we can trust Him. We may feel suffocated by demands on our time, energy, money, and life, yet those demands are used by God for His glory and our sanctification.
So in the midst of your life’s demands, where do you find strength? Like a 5 hour energy drink, we can find temporary strength in a short-term fix. However, God offers a fuller, better, more lasting and more God-exalting way. God uses demanding moments and seasons to beckon you to find strength in Him.
What does that look like? Here is a handful of ways I’ve learned to find strength in God:
Admit to God that you can’t live life on your own strength, wisdom, time, abilities, and skill (Psalm 16:5; James 1:5).
Declare that you can find strength in God (Philippians 4:13).
Confess any discontentment you’re dwelling on or covetousness of a friend’s “better” life (Hebrews 13:5; Colossians 3:5).
Physically open your hands with your palms up, and yield your personal strength to God and ask Him to be your strength (Psalm 28:7).
Persevere in your tasks with confidence, remembering the promises that God will never forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6) and that His Word will light each step you take (Psalm 119:105).
Before you fall asleep, praise God for His strength that day (Psalm 63:6).
Psalm 16:5-11 (Good News Translation)
5 You, Lord, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands.
6 How wonderful are your gifts to me; how good they are!
7 I praise the Lord, because he guides me, and in the night my conscience warns me.
8 I am always aware of the Lord's presence; he is near, and nothing can shake me.
9 And so I am thankful and glad, and I feel completely secure,
10 because you protect me from the power of death. I have served you faithfully, and you will not abandon me to the world of the dead.
11 You will show me the path that leads to life; your presence fills me with joy and brings me pleasure forever.