Saturday, June 01, 2013

June 1, 2013 … God Gives Me His Strength

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 152

Passage of the Day #1: 2nd Samuel 22: 35 [From David’s song of deliverance, with verses 33-37] [NLT]  
33 God is my strong fortress; He has made my way safe. 34 He makes me as surefooted as a deer, leading me safely along the mountain heights. 35 He prepares me for battle; He strengthens me to draw a bow of bronze. 36 You have given me the shield of your salvation; Your help has made me great. 37 You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping. 
 Contextual Study for today’s passage: 2nd Samuel, Chapter 22 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Isaiah 41: 10 : [He lifts me up!] …[NLT] …  
10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

Reference Passage #2: Philippians 4: 12-13 : [God’s Spirit provides me with His strength when I need it.] …[NLT] … 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.

Reference Passage #3: 2nd Corinthians 12: 9 : [God’s grace is where we get the power when we’re weakened. Jesus said it, and that’s good enough for me] …[NLT] …  
9 Each time He said, “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me.

My Journal for Today: Fellow Christian, … have you ever felt woeful, weary, or weakened? Well, if you’ve ever studied God’s word in any depth, you know that you’re not alone in having times where we feel compelled to draw on the one source of strength and power we have available to overcome our weakness. I’ve certainly been, at times, in a weakened state and feeling almost down-and-out. But in biblical lore, I’m not alone.

David, “God’s man after His own heart,” God’s mighty warrior, certainly had his times of woefulness; and he wrote about them in poignant and power-rendering song, which is recounted in 2nd Samuel 22, to which I’ve linked any reader with me today. Please go back and read and mediate on that song were King David, later in his life, relives how God lifted him up when he needed the Lord’s support. And you can go to the witness of Isaiah as well in the book by his name (see Isaiah 41: 10) where the Prophet reports that God will lift up any trusting believer who is in a state of fearfulness or is fraught with weakness.

And finally, in one of my lowest points of brokenness and weakness, God showed me the word from the Apostle Paul’s letter to Christians [see Phil. 4: 13 or 2nd Cor. 12: 9 copied above], where he gives witness to the strength we can receive from God when we’re in the midst of any circumstances of personal weakness. And many times, when I’m feeling really down-and-out, these memorized scriptural thoughts from the same Apostle Paul bubble up from my consciousness, giving me the truths of Jesus Himself, who encouraged us all when, as He said [my paraphrase], “My grace is sufficient for you, Bill, because My power works best when you’re at your weakest.”

So, if you’re now in a place where you feel strong enough to handle life, I exhort you to memorize and internalize some verses of encouragement and strengthening from God Himself, … passages like Isaiah 41: 10, Phil. 4: 13, or 2nd Cor. 12: 9, … so that when you’re in one of those darker spots, feeling weakened, you can be lifted up by God’s own words in the lives of men like David, or Isaiah, or Paul, … men who were believers just like you and me, … men who needed God’s strength to lift them up when they were down-and-out.

And to close out these thoughts, let me link you to a wonderful song, written and performed by Stephen Curtis Chapman, His Strength Is Perfect. And little did this brother know how much this song would mean to him several years after he wrote it, … when he and his family were weakened of faith when their little adopted daughter died in a horrible family accident.

We all have times when we need God’s perfect strength to shore up our very imperfect weakness. Perhaps today is a time when you need to call on Christ’s strength to lift you up.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, You lift me up when I am weak. … Amen

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