Strengthen Yourself in the Lord

God is near to the broken hearted.  He loves us when we’re weak.  But He wants to make us strong. It’s not hard to embrace the concept that God is close to us when we suffer. After all, we love our own children and hold them close when they’re in pain.

We may secretly wonder whether God wants to keep us weak so we’ll be more devoted to Him. Sadly, that’s like saying that as a mom, I would rather my children be sick and wounded so they’ll want to hang around me more. Of course not!  I want to help them return to strength so they can live life to the fullest.

But, I have to confess. I have experienced God’s greatest strength during times when I am broken. I would never have known Jesus as healer if I hadn’t gone through years of infertility and the subsequent healing that resulted in our three children. Nor could I have comprehended God’s mighty power if I hadn’t seen Him set me free from stubborn fears. And of course, I could never have grasped His saving grace if I hadn’t come face to face with my condition as a sinner. Perhaps you have your own stories.

Let’s take a few minutes to reflect upon following encounter in 1 Samuel 30. Upon returning from battle, David and his mighty men are horrified to find their village raided and burned, their wives and children taken captive by the violent Amalekites. Click here to read the entire account.

The verse tells us David and his men “wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.” Can you imagine the sound? The despair? The men were so distressed they even talked of stoning David. What would you do under these circumstances? Where would you turn for strength?  For David, one simple sentence says it all:

“But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6).

After seeking the Lord, David receives this answer:  “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue.” Which is exactly what happened. David and his men defeated the Amalekites and returned with all their family members safe and sound, along with all that had been stolen. Their victory was riveting—and complete.

I’ll leave you with this simple question: How do you strengthen yourself in the Lord?  My prayer today is that we  become like Paul when he said, “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).


2 responses to “Strengthen Yourself in the Lord

  • Kathleen Martin

    Dear Marilynn,

    I used to receive your posts and then they disappeared, not sure why. Now I’m getting them again.

    They are life changing for me during this difficult time in life. It feels as though God is far because of many things I’ve been suffering for so long. I’m in situations that are hurtful and damaging and it feels like the universe is out to destroy me, I know I have an enemy. I’ve been discouraged so long and am suffering PTSD from crock pot trauma. I finally walked out those church doors, where my husband is an Elder, not on the board at this time though, and I’m in a safer church that is not abusive. It was hard leaving without him but I could not do it anymore. So much bad stuff goes on behind the scenes and it is not godly. My husband did give me permission to leave but I still feel guilty. He remains in that church not quite ready to leave. He is very loyal. I feel so alone and abandoned by him. In 27 yrs of marriage we’ve always been in church together. He did say he is open to the Holy Spirit changing his heart and mind but for now I’m walking this lonely path.

    I prayed in the quietness of my home this morning. I poured a lot out on the throne and boldly asked to hear from God. I cannot take feeling so distant. Then I opened this, and I read. And I’m in a place of weakness but now I know He wants to make me strong.

    Please keep these devotionals coming! I want my first love back and I long to have intimacy with Him again.

    Thank you, Kathleen Martin

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  • marilynn chadwick

    Kathleen, thanks for reaching out and sharing some of what is going on with you. I’m glad the blogs have been encouraging. You should be receiving them regularly now. I pray you will sense the Lord’s presence in a special way. Sounds like you’ve been wounded in a difficult church situation. I also pray you’ll find a more grace-filled community of faith. None of us can travel this journey alone. Blessings, Marilynn

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