Greetings to you and we pray that you had a beautiful Holy Week and Easter. Christ is risen! What an exciting time to be a Christian and knowing about our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The time has come for another Devotional, for the edification of our spiritual life. You will need a journal / your bible / notebook /diary / pens and markers. This is our month of Salvation as we take time to reflect on the wonderful gift of Salvation and today’s topic : Strength.
Strength is defined as
- the quality or state of being strong,
- the capacity of an object, substance or individual to withstand great force or pressure. Strength has the following connotations: power, firmness, solidity, toughness, overcoming, conquering, winning n celebration, confidence.
It is the strength found in the inner man. It is not connected with our muscles, health, finances and abilities.
How do we get Spiritual strength as Christians?
1) It comes by faith. There is strength in just trusting God. Romans 5 :1 - 3 says 'therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that but we also glory in tribulations knowing that they produce perseverance. God Himself is our strength. Psalms 46: 1 says God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble, and in Psalms 73:26 ' my flesh and heart fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
2) It comes by Fellowship.
We all know that we need God in our lives. We also need each other and we need the church meetings as we fellowship with one another. We are stronger when we stand together dear brothers and sisters Galatians 6:2 'there is power in Christian unity, bear ye another burdens.
3) It comes by Bible Feasting.
The Bible is food that satisfies the soul. Job 23:12 ' I have not departed from the commandment of His lips. I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food. We must read, memorise, meditate , study, apply and live the Word of God seriously.
4) It comes by freedom from dominance of sin in our lives.
Job 17:9 ' yet the righteous will hold His way, and he who has clean hands will be stronger and stronger. Proverbs 10:29 ' the way of the Lord is strength for the upright, but destruction will come to the workers of iniquity. One who is not free from sins will stay defeated, weak, broken and under burdens. True joy overcomes physical weakness. Proverbs 17:22 ' a merry heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.
5) It comes by Fasting and Praying.
Women of Prayer fasting and praying is a Christians’ secret weapon. Mark 9:28-29 'when He came into the house, His disciples asked Him why could we not cast it out, He said this kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting. A lot of our answers come through fasting and praying. The book of Esther illustrates the “Esther's fast “whilst the book of Daniel illustrates the “Daniel fast”. There are many other fasts in the bible. Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights.
6) It comes by finishing.
Psalms 71:18 ' Now also when I am old and grey headed o God, do not forsake me, until I declare your strength to this generation and your power to everyone who is to come.
Many have started well but have not been able to finish, we need to finish the race we started as no strength is given to a quitter. We need to keep running the race, keep trusting God, keep praying, keep studying the Word, keep experiencing God’s grace daily, monthly, yearly until you are called home .
Verses on Spiritual Strength
1) Deuteronomy 31: 6
Be strong and courageous. Don't be afraid or terrified because of them for the Lord your God goes with you, He will never leave you or forsake you.
2) Jeremiah 32 : 17
Ah Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.
3)Psalms 59 : 16 but I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love, for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.
4)Deuteronomy 20:4 for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you ro fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.
5) Exodus 15:2 the Lord is my strength and my defence. He has become my salvation. He is my God and I will praise Him.
6) Psalms 119: 28 my soul is weary with sorrow, strengthen me according to your word.
7) 1 Chronicles 16:11 look to the Lord and His strength, seek His face always
8) Isaiah 40 :29. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Lack of spiritual strength causes weakness, frailty, defeat within the Christian walk. Let’s not be found in this bracket.
The 4 C’s of mental strength are :
•Control(emotional and life control)
•Commitment(being goal and delivery orientated)
•Challenge(learning from everything and the ability to stretch oneself)
•Confidence(in abilities and interpersonal skills).
Tips on how to be mentally strong
-Do not fear alone time
-Do not dwell on the past
-Do not feel the world owes you
-Do not expect immediate results
-Do not worry about pleasing everyone
-Do not waste time feeling sorry for yourself
-Do not waste energy on things you cant control
-Do not let others influence your emotions
-Do not shy away from responsibilities
-Do not give up after the first failure
-Do not fear taking calculated risks.
Verses on mental strength
1) Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens m
2) Luke 10:19 behold i have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power o the enemy and nothing shall hurt you.
3) Hebrews 4:12 for the word of the Lord is living and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of the soul and the spirits, of joints and of marrow and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
4)Proverbs 3:5 trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Signs of emotional strength are
- not shying away from pain
-focusing on solutions over problems
-seeking respect not attention
-letting go of grudges
-being comfortable in oneself.
Bible Verses on Emotional Strength.
1) Matthew 11:28-30 come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle, and I am lowly in heart and you will find rest for our souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
2) Matthew 6 :14:15
For if you forgive others their trespasses your heavenly father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive, neither will your father forgive you.
3) Philippians 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayers and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
They are the relationship qualities that contribute to the emotional health and wellbeing of a family. Families who define themselves as strong find life together satisfying and live in harmony and happiness with each other. They show and demonstrate their love by actions and words like ''I love you'' , ''I miss you'' etc.
Strong families attributes.
1) Express appreciation and affection
2) Have a strong commitment to each other
3) Spend enjoyable time together
4) Manage stress and crisis effectively
5)Have a sense of spiritual wellbeing
6)Have effective and positive communication patterns.
7)Most importantly they pray and fellowship together.
Bible verses on Family Strength
Honor your father and mother that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
Colossians 3:13 bear with one another and if one has a complaint against another, forgive each other as the Lord has forgiven you.
Psalms 133: 1 how good it is when God’s people live together in unity.
This is the energy one has which gives the ability to perform various actions such as lifting and moving things. It is enhanced by constantly and regularly exercising and eating healthy food.
Advantages of physical strength are
- one has a stronger immune system
- has a reduced risk of disease
-improved self confidence
-improved emotional state.
The final type of strength I will discuss is FINANCIAL STRENGTH.
It is the ability to generate profits and sufficient cash flows to pay bills and repay debts or investors. Attaining a sufficient cashflow comes with having a job or business. If either is not enough, one may work on doing both, once a cashflow starts generating, discipline is also a vital factor in determining priorities first. Luxurious spending sprees are not encouraged especially at the early stages of attaining a job or business.
In conclusion I would like to highlight that, as Christians it is not only spiritual strength that matters to us. We need to focus on all aspects of being strong to become a better person as a whole. One may be spiritually strong, but emotionally weak leading to an imbalance. Let us strive on having strength in all areas of our lives and in all possible aspects. Thank you for taking the time to read this devotional and may God bless you and give you strength in all areas of your life in Jesus’ name.
Father in the name of Jesus Christ I pray for strength in each and every situation I may encounter. I declare and I decree that only You God are my refuge and my strength, and an ever present help in times of trouble. Therefore I will not fear. I will not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is my strength( Nehemiah 8:10).In the day of battle I cover my head in Your strength according to Psalms 140: 7. Lord You are my strength and song, You have given me victory in the name of Jesus (Exodus 15:2).I soak myself in Your power and strength, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.