What one word whispered to God would overcome my weak hands and feeble knees—one word that would represent my relationship with God and the people around me? What word would be painted on the waving banner held high as I march forward?
What would help me cope with anything that crashes into my path, leaving me breathless and confused? What word would fly from joyful lips? What word would I call out in prayer while serving God in big things , and in doing small, insignificant, mundane, everyday tasks?
My chosen word is strengthen.
The dictionary definitions for strengthen are:
- to make or become stronger
- to cause to be strong
- to beef up or fortify
I wish I could always be strong—but I’m not. Often fear of my own weakness and inability incapacitates me and I will not even begin a task because I may not have the strength to finish it. Then the knowledge that the God of the universe, the God of all grace, has promised to stoop down and strengthen me fills me with amazement . . .
The God of all grace . . . who has called you to His own eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be , establish and ground you securely, and strengthen and settle you. – 1 Peter 5:10 (Amplified Bible)
Strengthen is a word that . . .
- is a cry to God when exhaustion clouds thinking.
- becomes a battle call when facing seemingly insurmountable problems.
- is a quiet source of hope when weak and ineffective.
- drives us to asking for help from an all powerful, wonderful God.
- sets aside self sufficiency and makes us face up to our dependence on God.
- declares that by reaching out to God, I trust Him is completely.
Learning to rely on God’s strength changes my thinking from what I am able to accomplish, to doing what God gives me the strength to achieve. Pride is set aside because strength comes from God—and security takes the place of fear. Knowing that God Himself completes me and makes me what I ought to be is comfort beyond measure.
God also gives strength for another purpose
Jesus wants us to strengthen others, and has prayed for us to be able to do this. (Luke 22:32) It takes faith and great strength to reach out, love and provide for people. Getting involved in meeting the daily needs of others is tiring, and sometimes physically demanding when carrying, cleaning or and lifting. Sharing hardship or counselling someone through tough times requires emotional strength.
My prayer is:
“Strengthen my heart Lord, for I often fear what I’m not able to control or quickly fix. Fill me with the courage and hope that comes from understanding your eternal glory. Help me to rely on you to stand firm and strong as I face each day.
Lord strengthen my hands to do what is pleasing in your sight.
Let my feeble knees bow before your throne so that in your presence I gain strength.
Then Lord, equip me so that I will have the courage to reach out and strengthen those who are hurting, or in turmoil, or so lost without you.”