Song of Strength

“The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” –Exodus 15:2 (NIV)

I once remember coming across an interesting account of a group of Christians in ancient Rome. Persecuted for their faith in Christ they were in chains and were being led to the coliseum to be ripped apart by wild animals. But what struck the people observing this procession was that the Christians were singing and celebrating! Where there would normally be weeping and mourning, there was joy and a confident expectation of a glorious hope. The sight struck people both as odd and as admirable that these children of Christ would have such boldness in the face of death. It has been proven that part of the reason that Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire was the witness of these Christians under persecution; causing many to seek to learn more about Christ and accept Him as Lord.

How often do we have the same attitude in the face of suffering? When confronted by adverse circumstances, the song in our hearts is usually one of despair rather than hope and joy. Feeling crushed under the weight of our trials we feel helpless and weak. Such feelings then give way to hopelessness and we succumb to a defeatist attitude which tells us that victory will forever elude us. However there is hope in the Lord of the Universe; who stand omnipotent over all. When we have allowed Christ to enter our hearts and work in our lives, he will strengthen us by His Spirit. In leaning on Him and allowing ourselves to be rooted in His Word, we will find that strength and boldness which only comes from knowing that He works all things together for His perfect plan for us. Resting in Him we will be able to sing boldly, even in the direst of circumstances, for as Romans 8:37 says, “…we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Christ has overcome sin and death through His own death and resurrection. As His children who have become like Him in His death and resurrection, we have a strength derived from the eternal hope of being made one with Him.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

He’s Got Your Back!

“‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’” –Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

I remember the first time that I had to leave home and be away from my parents. As part of an elementary school trip I would be away for one whole week at an outdoor camp. Though I was looking forward to the exciting adventures that were to be had, I was also nervous and afraid. A child’s imagination often runs wild and knowing that I would be spending the week in a heavily forested area, there was the fear of the dangers that could be lurking in the woods. But before I left my father recited this verse to me and it brought me so much comfort and joy. Knowing that the all-powerful God who created the Heavens and the Earth was going to be by my side was a huge confidence boost. Even to this day when I feel that I am stepping into the unknown, this verse comes back to me reminding me that God is with me wherever I go.

Situations will come along our path that make us quake in fear. Uncertainty grips our minds and our hearts sink with despair. We wonder how we will ever pull through these situations in one piece. In desperation we cry out for strength and the wisdom to navigate through the storms which we find ourselves sailing into. However, there is hope! No other navigator will suffice expect for Christ Himself. When we have allowed Him to enter our hearts, He will strengthen us in our hour of need. By staying in tune with His Spirit He will guide our steps towards the fulfilment of His perfect plan for our lives. With Him as our Captain, we will have nothing to fear resting in the assurance found in Romans 8:31 that “If God is for us, who can be against us?”. We will be able to stand fearless before our situations and circumstances knowing that it is God who gives us victory and who in His omnipotence will work all things together for good.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Strength in Waiting

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” –Psalm 27:14 (NIV)

Waiting can often be unbearable. When something does not work out as planned or things do not get done when and how we want them to, it is easy to become frustrated. Part of our frustration is that when we are forced to be patient, it seems as if we have lost control of our affairs. Instead of us dictating what needs to be done and when, it seems that we are at the mercy of our circumstances. This loss of power over our lives makes us feel weak and plunges us into despair. We lose hope and feel as if we will forever be slaves to our situations, bending to their every whim, and feeling insecure when we compare ourselves with others who seem to have it all together.

In Christ however we are made secure. We fail to see that those moments of waiting are opportunities to develop our strength in Him. When we have allowed Christ to enter our hearts and seek to live according to His Spirit, we will quickly come to understand that His schedule is better than ours. Though with our fallible eyes we cannot see it, He has a wonderful plan in store for us and He will not rest until He has seen it fulfilled in our lives. He is able to use our circumstances and turn them around in order to display His power over our situations and His faithfulness to us.  However, He will do this not according to our timing, but by His flawless wisdom. When we choose to grasp his hand and patiently wait upon Him, He will strengthen us by His promises that everything is under His control. By constantly submitting ourselves to Him and trusting in His wisdom, we will see how good He truly is. Our faith will be strengthened in those moments of waiting and we will remain firm and confident before all that we face knowing that in Christ we have the final victory.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.