Psalm 46:1 – “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” KJV
In my previous post, I wrote about God as our refuge. In this blog, I want to talk about God, our strength!
The stories I can tell about God being my strength! I have discovered that not only does God provide us with His strength, but He is our strength. In the book of 1 Samuel, He is called the Strength of Israel. When the nations around Israel looked at the Israelites and saw strength, it was God’s strength that they really saw. When people see us, the children of God, during these difficult days, they should see God’s strength radiating through us, because He is our strength!
David knew his strength was God, not just in God, but God. God delivered David from the hand of Saul and his enemies, causing David to say, “God is my strength and power: and He makes my way perfect.” We all know that David didn’t have a perfect life, nor did he have an easy life, but he knew that God had been his strength during his life, enabling him to rise above incredible obstacles.
David was ignored by his family and given the job of shepherding the family’s sheep, but God was His strength during that time. David killed the lion and the bear, and was confident enough to take out Goliath, because God was his strength. David’s men wanted to stone him after their families were taken at Ziklag, but David went off by himself and communed with God, his strength! The Bible tells us that he encouraged himself in the Lord! There he got the answers and the strength he needed, to go and recover all!
David was hunted by Saul, simply because of Saul’s jealousy towards him; but when given the opportunity to hurt Saul, his Strength would not allow him to do it. David’s mighty men didn’t go to him as warriors, but as men in distress, with debt and discontent as their description, and because God was David’s strength, he helped them to embrace God as their strength.
As I was meditating on the truth that God is our strength, God brought the church to my mind. I thought about the pastors who are preaching to empty chairs in an empty sanctuary. It was hard at the beginning of the virus, but it’s even harder now. One well known pastor struggled so in the beginning, that his thoughts were jumbled and his movements were disjointed. What started out as a possible few weeks of interruption has become months of uncertainties. Not only is the church faced with empty sanctuaries, but they also have to deal with loss of income that support the ministry and pay the bills.
While it is understandable that there is a great concern about the finances, pastors also have a great concern about the people God has given them to watch over. One woman in ministry was sharing with me her concerns for the flock. She said she couldn’t understand how you can have a membership of 100 people and only 12 of them join you online for services. Her concern was real, as she wanted to know if the people really had a relationship with God, where were they at?
I like the words that Isaiah wrote:
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2
Isaiah found God to be his strength, just as David had; but, it came out of a deep, abiding trust in God. Isaiah said, “I will trust, and I will not be afraid!” That’s the answer to every hurting pastor and leader in the Body of Christ. As ministers, the worldwide, have encouraged their people to trust in God in the darkest hour, God is saying to them, “I am your strength, trust Me!”
Habakkuk also wrote about God as his strength:
The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. Habakkuk 3:19
Habakkuk let it be known that God was his strength and his feet were sure, as he walked before God and stood on His promises! Pastors and ministers are quitting because things have gotten tough. Maybe this was their testing ground to see if they were sent or if they just went! Jesus said the shepherd doesn’t run from the trouble, but he runs to the trouble, as David did. David’s confidence when he faced the lion, the bear, Goliath, and the Philistines wasn’t in him; but in the God who had become his strength and his song!
I’ve been blogging since February of 2018. God told me to blog. In this first year I had 457 views. I thought I was doing something, impacting people around the world with my blog. Today my numbers are much greater, but my attitude is the same. I am doing something, and I am impacting people around the world through this blog, with the gospel of Jesus Christ! Some days my stats show that I have had 2 views, and other days it might show more than 75. I know that if my focus is on the stats, I will not be able to do the assignment that God gave me. Three days a week, I sit and write my blog. Most times I can do it in a couple hours, but sometimes it takes days. Whether one person view a blog, or 500, I have to stay the course!
However, God has placed a different ministry in my heart and soul. He called me to preach and to teach the gospel. I have seen myself, in dreams, preaching to crowds of people, laying hands on the sick and seeing creative miracles, impacting lives for the glory of God. I have seen visions of the power of God flowing from heaven into my earthly body, and flowing out of my body into His people with miracles following. I never saw me blogging! And if the truth be told, I am further away from my dream today than I have ever been. But I am strong in the Lord, for He is my strength. I can’t see anything happening to bring me to my dream when churches are so empty and the future of how we do church is weighing in the balance, but I will trust God my strength with it all!
That’s not all I can do! That’s not all any of us can do! That’s what we should be doing at this time, placing our unwavering trust in God as our strength! He will get you up out of the bed when you don’t feel like you have anymore reasons left to get up! He will give you the greatest message to preach when you have no more inspiration left on the inside of you! He will be your strength as you raise your children, work at that job you don’t like, or sit at home when you would rather be outside! He will be your strength and give you strength, when your trust is in Him!
Being a child of God isn’t for the faint of heart! There are not a lot of tulips to tip toe through! But trusting God as your refuge and strength during times of trouble, will bring you out on the other side with great victory and strength! The devil hasn’t forged a weapon, greater than our God! Decide today, that as He is referred to as the Strength of Israel, He can also be referred to as the Strength of… (whatever your name is)! Wonderful Jesus!