Tag : strength
Tag : strength
Some weeks are just more difficult than others, right?
As I round the corner into the final stretch of this year at school, the classwork is intensifying, as is the ministry workload—we’re taping our POP Talk television show tomorrow, my husband and I are hosting our church small group Thursday night (that means cleaning the house as well!) and I am filling in as leader for a pre-service event before our church Shabbat Service Friday night. Combined with school homework, this seems like a lot. I’ve even had the thought, Did God really tell me to go back to school?
With so many demands on my time, last night I hit the wall. I thought about picking up the phone to vent with a friend, but instead I fell to my knees and humbly cried, “Help!” I asked God to give me the strength that I do not have on my own.
I’ve been studying the journeys of the Apostle Paul in the book of Acts over the past few weeks, and one of the things I love about Paul is that he never gave up, no matter the push back and no matter the trial. What I am seeing is that while some opposed his case for Jesus as the Messiah, others loved him and believed. What if no one had bought into his message? In every port, it seemed like there were friends who took care of his needs. God also saved him from shipwrecks, and before his arrest, he was provided Jewish believer friends like Priscilla and Aquila to work alongside him. Yet he was also beaten, placed in chains and theologically opposed. Paul received good and God saw him through the bad. That’s why he was able to say, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12–13).
The Greek word for “to be in need” actually means” to be brought low.” Paul knew what it was like to be down and out, but he also knew where to find a source of strength. Through “Him”—Jesus.
God did not design us to be self-sufficient. We are Him-Sufficient.
So I don’t know what’s going on in your life right now, but I felt like there is someone out there who needs to know that it is okay if your strength is zapped and you feel like giving up. Don’t throw in the towel. You can do all things—just not on your own. Today, will you ask Jesus to fill in the gap for the strength you are lacking? I am personally moving forward knowing He will provide what I do not humanly have on my own, and that gives me the confidence I need to manage what’s ahead.
“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 1:19–20, NLT).
Will you join me for our next POP Chat Wednesday, April 28th from 6:30-7:30 p.m. CST? I will be speaking on the subject: “Nothing is Impossible with God.” If you have a situation in your life that seems “impossible,” then you will want to participate. We will worship, pray and discuss the message. Our Worship Leader this month is the talented Renee Rollins, who is a singer/songwriter and who even sang at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City! You will not want to miss this powerful gathering. Email email@example.com for more details.
Like many of us in Texas, I was worn out from the repercussions of the frigid temperatures and snow that slammed into our state.
The rolling blackouts that lasted several days were enough, but then water began gushing into our garage because of a busted water pipe. Until we could get a plumber to the house, we were forced to turn the water off (Digging through the snow to find the turn off valve was an adventure) or our home would suffer a lot of damage.
We were without running water for several days but there was hope! A plumber was scheduled to come out on Saturday morning, but when he didn’t show up, I was beside myself.
While we were able to get someone else out to fix the pipe later that day, by the time I made the drive to church, I felt like I needed a nap. It had been a rough week and I wanted to make a u-turn and return home, but it was my bad attitude that made the turnaround. When all of us church volunteers were gathered in the pre-service meeting, one of the pastors said, “This might feel awkward, but I want us all to pray silently and ask God to show us what we were supposed to learn from everything that happened this week.”
I learned that I don’t like being cold and not being able to take a shower. No, that was my thought but not what God wanted to say to me. When I bowed my head, I heard a different message: There is no other. Skeptical me wanted to make sure I heard right and asked, If this is you LORD, will you say it again? Then I heard it again, There is no other.
So I pondered this word from God and I did a search of There is no other in the Bible and this is what I found:
“I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things” (Isaiah 45:5–7).
I believe God was reminding me He allowed this storm—for some it was a disaster— and instead of thanking Him for the bad and relying on Him to guide me through it, I was saturated with worry and putting all my faith into my husband, plumbers, the electricity and the water supply. If all that is stripped away, what’s left?
There is no other.
He is the one who creates the storm but strengthens us in the midst of it.
He allows the lights to go out to see if we’ll gaze into His light.
When the flow of water stops, will we drink His living water?
Sometimes He takes things away to get our attention.
By the time I walked into the church service, I was a different woman and when I praised God through the worship song Raise a Hallelujah, I meant it.
I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar.
When crisis hits, we need to remember There is no other. There is no one who loves us more, who cares more about our well-being and who can provide strength when our soul is weary.
I pray I remember this when the next storm blows in.
“Lisa’s had lots of experience.” Someone had just complimented my writing skills and another followed it up with a comment inferring I was old, negating the compliment. It’s been a stretch full of jabs like that, both external from other people and internal—punches I’ve thrown at myself.
Maybe you understand what it’s like when it seems like the positive reinforcement has retreated into a back closet.
It’s safe to say we all go through low periods, and when we do, thoughts surface like I have no value. I am unattractive. I am not lovable. When these negative thoughts begin to take over our minds and the downward spirals commence, we need to ask some questions.
What is going on in my life?
Do I have an important “God appointment” on the horizon?
Have I gotten away from my daily spiritual medicine—Worship, the Word of God and Prayer?
In my case, when I go through these downer days, I generally have some important ministry dates on the calendar. The more speaking engagements, the greater the attack. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The enemy of our souls wants to take us off our game so we are ineffective in our calling. His mission is to make us feel so bad about ourselves that we quit, and he’ll often use other people’s comments, or even silence, to bring us down.
We all have an Achilles heel—the place where we are most vulnerable—and he’s locked in on that target. Sometimes those making statements that needle us did not intend to do damage, but the enemy will twist what’s said and the derogatory whispers start: See, they think you’re worthless. You don’t belong. You are old. Why don’t you just hang it up?
When this happens to me, it may take a while, but I eventually realize that what is coming around the corner is going to be powerful. Otherwise, the devil wouldn’t be working so hard. I am going to be used to make a difference, and that when I am feeling weak, I must press into the strength that God provides.
Are you feeling a little south of center today? Then it’s time to get even lower, to your knees, and ask God to encourage you or to send one of His servants to provide a kind word. And while you’re down there, ask Him to help you to think rightly about yourself, and others. Today, I am humbly bowing along with you—seeking help from the One who loves us and provides for all our needs—Jesus. I am praying for both of us to feel an outpouring of His love, and to embrace the truth that we are beautiful daughters of God, as well as valuable to our heavenly Father.
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God”
My head was spinning after yesterday’s three-hour Hebrew class. It was only the second lecture and I was thinking, I don’t know if I can do this. We were learning about Hebrew vowels and there are a lot of dots, dashes and rules you have to remember. I finally went to bed early with the thought, I’ll get up early and try this again tomorrow.
This experience reinforced that I cannot do this advanced schooling alone. No matter what any of us face we cannot do life alone.
But God must have seen what was ahead and knew I needed a little advance encouragement.
Last week at my first chapel at school, the speaker was the president of The King’s University, Dr. Jon Chastain. He gave a message about Joshua from the Bible and talked a lot about the strength that only come from God. When Moses died, the LORD told Joshua to “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). God knew Joshua would face many battles ahead in the Israelites’ efforts to conquer the Promised Land. Dr. Chastain then called God our “Better Half.” The first point of his message was that God gives us the strength to endure.
I remembered that point this morning, when I was not sure I could endure Hebrew. Then in my Bible reading this morning, Joshua 1:9 came up again, and for the life of me, when I started to write this blog, I couldn’t find it in any of my reading from this morning. It was as if God was supernaturally speaking during my quiet time, saying, You’re not strong enough, Lisa, but I am. I’m your better half.
I am realizing I’ve met my match in Hebrew, but I have a tutor who invented language, and I have to trust He’s going to provide the strength and the aptitude to learn it, because I’m called to do this.
In what aspect of your life do you need God’s strength right now?
Do you feel called to a task that supersedes your ability?
Is there a situation that has overwhelmed you?
Then move forward in faith and ask God to provide what you’re lacking. Well-known pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress defines faithfulness this way: “Consistently following God’s calling for your life and leaving the results to Him.”
We’re not alone.
Join us for our next POP Chat this Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Rosemary Legrand will be speaking about “Pursuing Patience” and Rachelle Fletcher will be our guest Worship Leader. It’s an amazing hour of Prayer, Worship, Teaching and Discussion. Sign up by clicking on the link. https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z
As coronavirus cases continue to surge across the globe, the state of our world can leave us feeling helpless. But that’s why we need to step up our prayers like never before. James 5:16 says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” So if we believe the Bible, we have to believe that our intercession make a difference. We can win this battle through prayer.
This week, the Holy Spirit gave me a three-fold prayer that we can lift up every day. It’s easy to remember because everything starts with the letter “S.”
Pray for Strength- Isaiah 40:29 says in the New Living Translation that God “gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” Then in Isaiah 41:10 the LORD encourages us again, “Don’t be afraid; for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Many of us might think we’re strong, but when we get broadsided by life, with the undercurrent stress of COVID-19 already present, whatever additionally attacks us can take us down. We have to have God’s strength already running through our veins. In 2 Corinthians 12:9–10 the Apostle Paul said that in the midst of the insults, distresses, persecutions and the difficulties he endured, when he was weak, Christ made him strong.
Pray for Strategy– Despite this dramatic change in the way we function, let’s ask God for a strategy to come through what’s going on, so we’ll still be standing when it ends. Our ministry has changed the way we do just about everything, and because I’ve asked the Lord for His strategy, he has also shifted my personal life in many ways, which includes a move into an additional area of expertise that will require more schooling. I would not have chosen this if I was living according to my plan, but I surrendered my plans to God. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Isaiah 55:8–9 tells us that God may have a plan for our lives that is not even on our radar. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
Listen in the Silence– This is when we ask, “What do you want to say to me during this Pandemic, Lord? What should I learn?” In Luke 5:16, it says that Jesus would often withdraw to desolate places to pray. He removed the noise so He could hear His Father’s voice more clearly. How do we hear God’s voice in the silence? It could be in the form of an impression on your spirit. It may be a gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit,, or possibly an audible whisper like the one that the prophet Elijah heard at Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 19:11–13). Try it! God still speaks today.
Ultimately, by praying and leaving this Pandemic in God’s hands, we tell Him that we trust Him—no matter what happens. When everything around us seems like it is crumbling, He provides an inexplicable stable foundation. Prayer is the answer to surviving the Pandemic.
And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you (Psalm 9:10).
Don’t miss our next POP Chat, this Wednesday, July 29th on ZOOM at 6:30 p.m.. Dr. Lynnette Simm will be teaching about “How to Find Your Peace” and Renee Rollins will lead our worship for this beautiful one-hour of fellowship. Here’s the link to sign up: https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z