Weeks into staying home due to the novel coronavirus, many of us need strength to stay positive, to overcome stress, and to make the most of this unprecedented time. Discover six biblical ways to receive the strength you need to overcome your challenge.
Uncertainty, changes in schedules and routines, the unannounced end of many of our norms brings emotional stress as we face many challenges.
What kind of strength do you need today?
- The recovery was long and hard. My friend Amy worked hard to regain physical strength and mobility. Many days, simply walking up a few steps took every ounce of strength she possessed.
- In the aftermath of a parent’s death, Janie needed emotional strength to grieve a great loss that seemed to swallow hope in her life. Strength to carry on was part of her daily prayer.
- Facing a myriad of challenges on the job, John seeks relational strength to lead well and hold his tongue when conflict erupts among his team members.⠀⠀
The Bible has much to say about finding strength to overcome challenges and hard times. One of the promises of God that strengthens my soul is tucked into the book of Isaiah.
Yet those who wait for the Lord⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Will gain new strength;⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
They will mount up with wings like eagles,⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
They will run and not get tired,⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
They will walk and not become weary.—Isaiah 40:31⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
We all encounter times when we need strength we can’t muster on our own, despite our hard work and best efforts.
As I read these words the prophet Isaiah penned so long ago, God brings a question to my thoughts.
How many times have I asked for strength
but didn’t settle my soul to wait for the Lord?
Ouch. The impatient part of me hates to wait. I’d much rather just get right to the answer or the solution. How about you? And yet, in this promise waiting is part of God’s process of giving new strength.
Our need for emotional stamina.
How about emotional strength? That is the type of strength I need more than the others. Somehow all the other needs for strength carry an emotional burden as well.
Strength to hold fast to God’s word and continue in faith adds grit to our ability to persevere through disappointments or challenging times. There is an emotional component to every challenge we face. Before we know it, our emotions begin to shape our faith and drain our energy.
Waiting is a spiritual discipline.
In many ways, our world is waiting. Waiting for strength, hope, and healing during these days when pandemic has created a new normal for a season.
This waiting word is powerful: to hope, to look for, to eagerly expect, to bind together, to be collected, and to linger for. God is our strength giver, the sustainer of our soul.
What a beautiful picture of lingering for the One provides what we need to keep going, to not give in, or to give up. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The gift of “new strength” is born of our need, relying on God to provide. It is the gift that comes when we seek the right source, rather than try one more thing to make ourselves strong.⠀This message runs counter to every self-help philosophy so prevalent in this world.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
God promises to give us strength when we wait for Him.
- Strength for our weariness.
- Our weak-hearted moments.
- Our fatigue and exhaustion.
- Our frustration that fights with faith.
Waiting for the Lord is a spiritual discipline that can happen in a variety of ways.
Six ways to wait for God’s strength:
- Waiting can be a prayer said, sung, shared, or silently formed in the ache of our souls. Pray for strength and God’s provision.
- Waiting can be a physical or spiritual posture. Bowing down, leaning on, pushing in, or simply choosing to be still are postures of putting our attention on God.
- To wait for the Lord often involves the act of letting go of our expectations, our want-to’s and our what-about-me’s that tempt us to fight for control. It is the act of laying down our rope in our spiritual tug-of-wars with God.
- Waiting is a decision of faith. We make the holy choice to trust God even when we don’t know the outcome, the answer, or maybe even the question. It is the act of remembering God’s heart even when we don’t understand His plan.
- Sometimes waiting is a simple grace of being willing. We take a deep breath and turn our attention to something else, giving God space and time to work.
- Waiting can also be very active as we just do the next right thing. It is the everyday holiness of being faithful in the little things again and again. Active waiting make one more choice to hold on to hope in the face of uncertainty. We press on like runners nearing the finish line.
The promised outcome of waiting is new strength. We look for strength in so many ways, but the soul strength God gives is something new.
To renew, recover, to grow, to sprout up, and to change for the better. This is just a glimpse of heart of God providing what we need.
Are you ready to overcome your challenge?
On days when discouragement depletes my positive attitude, I long to soar with the graceful ease of an eagle. Too often I exhaust myself flap-flap-flapping my wings in efforts to get off the ground.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Look with fresh eyes at this beautiful picture of the abundant love of God at work in our lives. Friend, no amount of Wheaties for breakfast can empower us to carry this kind of strength.
Strength for the soul is a glorious gift of a gracious God.
Are you waiting for God to strengthen your soul today? Together let’s embrace this precious gift of strength that comes when we need it most. Will you join me in praying for God’s healing strength over our world today?