Gaining Strength from God

 

Psalm 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in the time of trouble.40 And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, And save them, Because they trust in Him.

 

Psalm 29:11 The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.

 

These scriptures reveal to us some wonderful news. If we are Gods people and we put our faith and trust him he will strengthen us in our time of need and this is what I want to focus in on this morning. We have had several deaths lately and we have also had many who have been struggling with their health. So I thought it would be very appropriate that we talk about God and the strength that we can draw from him. Sometimes when tribulations come our way over and over again it can begin to beat us down and can lead some to fall away from God. But its very important that we remember to rely upon God during the difficult times. We need to learn to lean upon his everlasting arms and to cast all our cares and concerns on him. You see when we became Christians we became Gods chosen people and because of that we have truly been blessed in the fact that we can and will receive strength from God.

 

1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore!

 

This is whatI hope to accomplish in this lesson is to get you to realize how important is for us seek the lord and his strength especially during difficult times of our lives. I donít want us to ever forget that God is always there for us to help us in our time of need. The first thing I would like to do is to examine the OT and see what it says about drawing strength from God. I like what is says in,

 

Isaiah 41:9 You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its farthest regions, And said to you, 'You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'

 

The lord is simply saying that when you are his servant he will not put to the side and ignore you no he will strengthen and help you when need his helping hand and tells us not to fear or to become discouraged since he is our God. It should be great comfort to every single Christian just knowing that we do have God who has made this promise to us. Lets now take a look at several OT examples of those who understood that they could draw strength from God.

 

 

 

Exodus 15:1 Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the LORD, and spoke, saying: "I will sing to the LORD, For He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!2 The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father's God, and I will exalt Him.

 

Our first example has to do with Moses and the children of Israel. You see they were praising God in song because of everything that he had done to free them from Egyptian bondage. They witnessed first hand many miracles at the hand of God and because of this they boldly proclaimed that Lord is my strength and my salvation. We also see that they praised God for this. However,there is one thing that we learn from the children of Israel and that is they struggled with their faith in God and because of that many times over and over again they found themselves being weak and drowning in their own self-pity. We have to be careful today not to allow self-pity to overcome the strength that we can gain from God.

 

Our next example come from the story of Sampson and Delilah. We should all be familiar with this story. Sampson marries this women and over and over again she tries to find out what makes him so strong so that the Philistines can over power him. Sampson had to know what she was doing but finally he broke down and told her the truth that his hair was his strength. Of course she cut it off while he slept and this time the Philistines overtook him and gouged out his eyes and now he was at event where the Philistines were thanking their God for overcoming him and they ask for Sampson to be brought before them to perform. Lets pick up this story in,

 

Judges 16:26 Then Samson said to the lad who held him by the hand, "Let me feel the pillars which support the temple, so that I can lean on them."27 Now the temple was full of men and women. All the lords of the Philistines were there -- about three thousand men and women on the roof watching while Samson performed.28 Then Samson called to the LORD, saying, "O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!"29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars which supported the temple, and he braced himself against them, one on his right and the other on his left.30 Then Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines!" And he pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life.

 

Sampson was confident that if he prayed to God for strength that he would receive it and sure enough he did. Here we have a man that had been made blind and ridiculed yet he was able to gain strength from God through his prayer. As Christians today we need to keep in mid this simply lesson that no matter how badly we have been beaten weather physically or mentally we are only one prayer away from drawing strength from God.

 

There are many well worded songs with in Psalms that speak of God and the wonderful strength that we can gain from him I want to share at least one of these with you and it comes from

 

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.2 Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;3 Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling.4 There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.7 The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. 8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has made desolations in the earth.9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!11 The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.

 

We should never get to the point in our Christians life where we think that the Lords hands are shortened and that he cannot help us. From this Psalm that I just read shows us that God is always there and if we will just be still and know that he is our God and salvation we will always be able to draw strength from him.

 

Our next examples comes from a man that fully understood the importance of letting God be his everything and guide through out life. I am talking about David. David has much to say about trusting in God and ask him for strength.

 

2 Samuel 22:1 Then David spoke to the LORD the words of this song, on the day when the LORD had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.2 And he said: "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;3 The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence.4 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.5 'When the waves of death surrounded me, The floods of ungodliness made me afraid.6 The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me.7 In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry entered His ears.

 

David understood who is redeemer was and you find him praising God over and over again for what he had done for him is his life. But David also knew that he could gain comfort and strength from Gods word as well.

 

Psalm 119:27 Make me understand the way of Your precepts; So shall I meditate on Your wondrous works.28 My soul melts from heaviness; Strengthen me according to Your word.29 Remove from me the way of lying, And grant me Your law graciously.30 I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me.31 I cling to Your testimonies; O LORD, do not put me to shame!32 I will run the course of Your commandments, For You shall enlarge my heart.33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end.34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it.

 

If we want to draw strength from God we need to go to his word and read it and understand that his word is true. So, when we start reading about all the promise God has made to us and how he guarantees us that if we live faithfully to him and put our trust in him we will make to that wonderful place called heaven. It will also help us when read about those who were in far worse situations than we have ever thought about beingin yet they leaned on God and drew strength from him and persevered that can show us thatwe can do the same.

 

So far we have looked at several examples from the OT now lets take a look at the NT and see it what it says about drawing strength from God.

 

Sometimes our body will develop a problem. Maybe we canít see as well or perhaps we loose a limb. Going through such and ordeal may cause some to loose their faith but this should not be the case. Notice what we learn from Paul as he had to deal with an infirmity in his own life.

 

2 Corinthians 12:6 For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

You see Paul would have loved to have his thorn in the flesh removed. We can clearly see this in the fact that he asked god 3 times to remove it. But Gods response was my grace is sufficient for you for my strength is made perfect in weakness. God is teach you and I that there will be infirmities in your life and yes he has the power to make them go away but it necessary because no matter what your infirmity may be God grace shouldnít be sufficient enough for us. Knowing that we are Gods chosen people and that we are in saved condition because of the wonderful gift of grace has given us it should give us such comfort and strength that no infirmity can drag us down. Instead we should our illness to grow closer to God by gaining strength from him during these trying times.

 

Another thing we need to realize is that every single Christian no matter how spiritual strong they are will always have need to draw strength from God. Again, Paul is another great example of this. I think everyone would agree that Paul was a dedicated and spiritual person. But we have several examples that indicate that he struggled with his Christianity and had to draw strength from God to go on.

Acts 18:9 Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, "Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent;10 "for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city."

 

To put this into context Paul was at Corinth and he ran up against some more stubborn Jews who not listen to him. Well apparently Paul began to get scarred because we see Jesus speaking to Paul in vision encouraging him a strengthening him to continue preaching the word and thatís exactly what he did. Another instance of when Paul had to rely up on gaining strength from God comes from the time he was headed to Rome and the ship was caught in devastating storm.

 

Acts 27:20 Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.21 But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, "Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss.22 "And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.23 "For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve,24 "saying, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.'25 "Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.

 

Again see it implied here that Paul was beginning to doubt that he would survive until an angel came and reassured him that he would live to see Caesar. Paul gained strength from God during this time which probably seemed hopeless to everyone else. So you see everyone no matter how strong or weak they are must draw strength from God. Another important lesson we learn from Paul from his time at sea is that once he was strengthened he shared his strength those around him being a vessel for God. We need to keep this in mind that God can use us as a vessel to strengthen those around us but the source of strength is always from God. So, when we see someone hurting or struggling with something try to help them by being their for them. The Bible tells us to bear one anotherís burdens and weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice this all related to sharing the strength that you gained from God.††

 

Lets just say for a minute however that you find yourself in a place where Christians are failing in their duty to bear your burden and you find yourself neglected well guess what even if no one is there for you can still gain strength from God. Paul teaches this very thing in,

 

2 Timothy 4:16 At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them.17 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!

 

As you can see Paul wrote a lot about gaining strength from God and there are many other verses that we could go to that he has written on this topic. However for times sake I want to share one more with you. In this next writing Paul is talking about how is possible for some to become discouraged when they see others going through difficult times and he will explain how we should not allow this to bring us down but instead we should allow God to strengthen us.

 

Ephesians 3:13 Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height --19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

 

So lets us never ever forget that we can make it through any hardship that this life may hold if we remember to trust in God and to gain strength from him. Paul learned that lesson very well that is why he was able to say with all confidence

 

Philippians 4:13I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

 

I hope this lesson this morning has encouraged you in someway and has reminded you that you have a God who loves and will never forsake and you can gain strength from him.