Tag Archives: strength

…in weakness.

9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. II Corinthians 12:9 NKJV

Paul’s circumstance is unclear, other than that he had what he called “a thorn in the flesh”.

7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
II Corinthians 12:7 NKJV

He clearly attributes this problem as being from Satan and used to buffet him, but he adds in that it was used for his benefit.

Understandably, he prays.

8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
II Corinthians 12:8 NKJV

After pleading three times, the Lord’s answer:

…“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9a

God didn’t remove the thorn, at least Paul doesn’t tell us it went away.

Rather, God showed Paul (and us) that He can and will use anything in our lives.

Because we are weak, broken, sinful creatures who desperately need God to heal us, restore us, and redeem us.

No two life stories are identical, but God’s grace, truth, goodness, love, strength, and salvage are able to redeem, restore, and renew any.

No matter the weakness one is experiencing, we do not have to bear it alone, nor does God want us to.

He wants us to lean on Him and trust Him throughout.

When we do, our lives are transformed.

We can go from pleading with God to remove the “thorn” to praising Him for how He has used it.

10 Therefore 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.
II Corinthians 12:10 NKJV

It is not easy, but it is good.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the example of Paul, who was honest about his “thorn in the flesh” and how You spoke so clearly and have given us this wonderful encouragement. Lord, we rarely can see how You are working through the pain in the midst of it, but I thank You that You are. I thank You for how You have used the difficult and painful circumstances of my life. Thank You that You give us so much to lean on. Thank You for Your grace and Your strength which is perfected in our weakness. Thank You for Your faithfulness and love. Lord, thank You that You understand suffering far better than we do. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Strong

Joshua 1:9 NKJV — “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

These words were to Joshua as he was leading the Children of Israel into the Promised Land.

It’s not a suggestion, God gave a command.

God’s command to Joshua can still be applied to us today, we need to obey the Lord completely and to be strong and courageous in that obedience.

Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV — Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

Here we see the Children of Israel grieving over their sins.

But it was a holy day unto the Lord, thus the call was to celebrate, not because they were ignoring their sins, but because God was greater.

That is why they could celebrate and find strength in the joy of the Lord.

Nahum 1:7 KJV — The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

It’s not our ability or inability which brings us strength or security, it’s understanding God is truly the only Refuge and in Him we are saved.

Proverbs 14:26 KJV — In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.

It is when we place our trust in Him and honor God that we can find strength and confidence in His faithfulness.

It’s not easy to lay aside our own ideas of refuge, security, and how to be strong, but it’s the only true way.

Any other “strength” will rot out from under us when we need it the most.

But when we find our strength in the Lord, there is true refuge.

Ephesians 6:10 KJV — Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

1 Corinthians 16:13 NKJV — Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.

For these are the things we can do in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. I feel so unable to truly express the strength and security of walking with You in all things. Lord, I do not want to lean on anything but You. Please continue to expound to my heart and mind what it means to walk in Your strength, to find the joy of the Lord is my strength! Thank You for Your wonderous ways and Your incredible truth. Thank You for Your love and faithfulness. I praise Your holy name!! Amen.

April 28

Joel 3:10 KJV — Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.

Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV — Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your Word. Lord, great is Your name and greatly to be praised. Lord, let the weak say they are strong, because Your joy is their strength. Lord, let the weak say they are strong because You are our refuge and strength. Lord, let the weak say they are strong, because through Your sacrifice we are saved. Only in You can we truly find strength. Only in Your Word can we understand what true strength is. Lord, You never intended one person to use their physical strength to their own advantage at the cost of others. You intend those who are strong to protect the weak, to provide for the helpless, to use the gift You’ve given to bring You glory, honor, and praise. Anything we can do is a gift from You. Lord, thank You for sustaining us each day. Thank You for Your wonderful works. Thank You for Your continuing love and care. Lord, let those who are called by Your name be faithful, people of integrity, devoted to You, and diligent in following after You. That they might use their strength to honor You and help others. That is why we need to be strong, because it is not easy to do right. Lord Jesus, You gave all to save us from our sins, please help us to daily give all unto You. Lord, please strengthen the weak. Give men and women who are called by Your name the strength to do what it right. Let them choose You. Help me to always choose You first. Lord, please help me to be strong in Your joy and in Your Word. Help me to fully trust in You and to be wholeheartedly devoted to You in all things. In my weakness, let it be known that You are strong. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

November 16

Today’s prayer:

2 Samuel 22:33 NKJV — God is my strength and power, And He makes my way perfect.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for being perfect. Thank You for being my strength. Lord, You know exactly what is happening around me and in me. You know all the details of my life. Lord, I give You my day, my week. Lord, I look to You for all my needs. Lord Jesus, I trust You. Please, help those who are sick and hurting. Lord, please be their comfort. Please be their strength. Lord, please bring the prodigal back to their senses, that they might realize You are waiting for them to return to You. Lord Jesus, thank You for salvation. Please continue to soften hearts and spread Your Gospel throughout the world. Lord Jesus, please continue to speak to Your children and to hone the hearts of Your people. Please, Lord, let those called by Your name be praying and seeking You in all things. Raise up a generation of dedicated followers of Christ, who shun evil and cling to You. Thank You, Lord. Thank You. Amen.

Third day

It’s really good.

This opportunity to have a safe place I can breathe.

It’s really a blessing.

My family who serve me, love me, pray for me.

It’s really humbling.

This taste of confinement, so comfortable and pretty, when others experience poverty, illness, need, displacement, fear, and persecution.

It’s really sweet.

All the texts and prayers of others.

Those who are concerned about me and our family.

It’s really incredible.

To think about how I stopped counting the days of confinement when I was too sick to get out of bed.

To realize how much God has healed me and how blessed I am to have another day.

It’s really an opportunity.

To stay safe in my room and pray for those who are out working to stop the blaze, those who are helping others find safety, those who have left everything behind, and those who are frightened and uncertain what tomorrow will bring.

“Lord, please be with each one.”

To spend time before my Lord lifting up so many.

To praise Him for His faithfulness and His mercy.

To worship Him, no matter what tomorrow brings, because:

He is worthy.

Bless the Lord , O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty,
Psalms 104:1 NKJV

I will call upon the Lord , who  is  worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.
II Samuel 22:4 NKJV

And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!”
Isaiah 6:3 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. It is such a comfort. There is such depth of wisdom, knowledge, and encouragement. Lord Jesus, please stop those who would harm others or put people in danger. Please strengthen those who are serving communities and providing for others. Lord, let those who are struggling find their comfort in You. Please protect the innocent and place a hedge of protection around the weak. Lord, nothing that is done is missed by You. Thank You for watching over us all with such love and compassion, mercy and grace. Thank You for being God Almighty, our place of refuge. Amen.

Just not…

“You’re just not breathing well.”

My husband’s words were spoken with compassion, but lacked the urgency and concern of a year ago.

Praise God!

This time last year, I wasn’t doing well at all.

Getting through the day was my prayer every morning and at night I thanked God.

My health has been steadily improving and most of this week I’ve functioned better than I have in a very long time.

It was yesterday evening when my husband’s words encouraged me to do nothing but rest.

Although, my health has not returned completely, I understand it may never go back to the way it was.

I am so thankful for what I am able to do.

To keep house, cook, and homeschool is such a blessing.

For I have learned God is the reason I can do anything.

All my abilities, including breathing, are solely a gift from God.

2 Samuel 22:33 KJV — God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.

Therefore how my body reacts to each day is under God’s authority and whether I’m feeling well or poorly, I can rest in His Sovereignty.

Philippians 4:13 NKJV — I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Never before have I realized how much of my “doing” is all because of Christ strengthening me.

It’s not about how much I accomplish in a day.

It’s not about me “doing good works” for God.

It’s resting in the truth that every breath, every breath, is taken because Christ strengthens me.

Same goes for the strength to walk.

Every beat of my heart, is because God has given me life and the strength to live another moment.

Which means I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

And I’ve never been so thankful for the gift before.

To God be all glory and honor and praise!

He is truly worthy of all praise and worship!

Psalm 13:6 NKJV — I will sing to the LORD, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for breath. How great it is to have the ability to walk and talk, to hear and see! God, You give me so many things, and I’m sorry for being ungrateful to You for my life, I’ve not always realized what abundance You have provided. Lord Jesus, thank You for saving my soul. Thank You for the Bible! How blessed I am to read Your Word any time I want. Jesus, may my life reflect You. For You are incredible. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Another sock doll

One day, in elementary school…

(Sounds like something from a book…)

Anyway, when I was in elementary school my mom worked there.

So, we spent plenty of time after school hanging out in classrooms or on the playground.

I can’t remember what grade I was in, nor what classroom.

All I can remember is a drawing of a sock and the step-by-step instructions for turning a pair of socks into a doll.

I know I’ve shared this story before and there’s really very little to it, except that I have been blessed to remember it.

All these years.

Any of my family can tell you, that’s actually super unusual.

My memory for things isn’t very good.

Infact, I was telling one of the girls today:

” I remember having it, but no idea where it is. Probably next to the dish soap I put in a safe place.”

Grimacing the whole time, because over a week ago I had two bottles of dish soap.

The half full one I left under the kitchen sink.

The other one went, “in a safe place out of sight so we don’t use it too quickly.”

Grrr…

It’s still in that safe place.

No one, including me has any idea where that could possibly be.

Another crazy thing about me remembering that paper of instructions on how to make a sock doll.

I can’t read most instructions.

God has blessed me and I have sewn dresses, hats, costumes, blankets, simple quilts, and curtains.

Never once did I use a pattern.

I can’t figure them out to save my life.

Crocheting?

Nope, I can’t read those patterns either.

(I can follow a video tutorial!)

With all this being said about my inabilities, it makes me look at this little doll I finished today and praise God.

Life isn’t about focusing on what I cannot do.

Because the list is really l-o-n-g.

Instead, it’s realizing my weakness is used by Jesus to help me love Him all the more.

After all, I couldn’t even love Him if He didn’t love me first.

1 John 4:19 KJV — We love him, because he first loved us.

With all the changes, uncertainty, and strange times we find ourselves in, it’s so important that we realize our weakness is His opportunity.

I can easily smile at this little toy, another sock doll.

She’s a reminder that God’s strength is in every part.

2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV — And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

My Refuge and Comfort

What do you do when awake in middle of the night, unable to sleep?

At times, fear lurks, tangling my thoughts with needless worry.

Yet, I’ve learned the most important thing to do is pray.

Psalm 46:1b NKJV — God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

To hold out my heart before God and seek refuge in His love.

Psalm 62:8 KJV — Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

To relinquish my ideas and plans into the Almighty’s care and enjoy quiet with Him alone.

Often, He brings others to mind and I stand before Him in prayer on their behalf.

In my times of deepest anguish, in those moments of despair, in the times of desperation, He has been my constant Refuge.

His comfort was encompassing when my father died in a tragic accident.

His presence was my constant companion when my body was so wrecked by pain I could neither eat nor sleep.

He’s been my ever faithful, loving, help in these long days of illness.

His Word is true.

He is my Refuge and Strength, a very present help in times of trouble.

And although I have no idea how He is working this all out for my good, I know I can trust Him to do it.

What an incredible God, He is!

Psalm 9:9 KJV — The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

Amen!

Abundance

There’s never an end to the goodness of God.

The Bible is overflowing with description after description of God.

One can learn God for a lifetime and never reach the end of Him.

God is our strength and refuge.

Psalm 46:1 NKJV — “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”

Story after story is listed in the Scriptures of how God gave both strength and refuge to the people Israel and many individuals.

God sees the heart.

He knows the truth of every matter.

When we are wronged we need not defend ourselves.

Psalm 59:9 NKJV —” I will wait for You, O You his Strength; For God is my defense.”

He is the Judge.

Psalm 50:6 NKJV —” Let the heavens declare His righteousness, For God Himself is Judge. Selah”

His verdicts are always best.

God is the King of all kings.

Psalm 47:7 NKJV — “For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with understanding.”

He was before them all, and will be here when their histories are forgotten.

God is holding our very lives.

He wants to help, guide, and direct each person.

Psalm 54:4 NKJV — “Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is with those who uphold my life.”

Jesus is the Savior.

Psalm 62:7 NKJV —”In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God.”

What can mankind ultimately do if one’s soul is safely in the hands of God?

There is no pain which lasts past the grave if the soul is safe with Jesus.

Psalm 68:20 NKJV —”Our God is the God of salvation; And to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death.”

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
John 3:16‭-‬17 NKJV

What an incredible picture of God we see in only a few verses.

And there’s so much more.

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for showing us Yourself. Thank You for giving us the Word that we might learn about You. Thank You for coming in flesh to save us from sin and eternal separation. Please, continue to open my mind to Who You are. Please help me to live out these truths. Thank You, Jesus for Your goodness!