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Week of October 10, 2011

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  ~ Isaiah 40:31

       Eagles can soar above storms.  They can ascend to heights that other birds cannot.  And they represent what we can do through the Lord as our strength.            

       Strength is a reward and a byproduct of obedience.  Joshua 1:7 says, “Be strong and very courageous.  Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.”  God reiterates “be strong” in verse 9.            

       Remember when Sampson revealed the secret of his strength to Delilah who deceived and betrayed him (Jud. 16:17)?  Sin weakened him.  But afterwards, amid horrible consequences, when he prayed, God still accomplished His purpose by taking down the enemy.  Even if we loose our strength, God’s power is made perfect in our weakness to accomplish His purposes (2 Cor. 12:9).            

       1 Chronicles 16:11 says to “look to the Lord and His strength.”  That’s what Sampson did (Jud. 16:28).            

       Strength is empowered by love.  The Sampson and Delilah story is the flesh or sin representation of this.  Conversely, God speaks of His loving relationship with us in Deuteronomy 6:5 and His strength, presence, love, deliverance and inheritance for the Israelites in Deuteronomy 4:37-38 where He went before them to drive out strong nations to set the captives free.              

       Strength is activated by faith.  Hebrews 11:32-34 tells of great conquers, like Gideon, David, Samuel and the prophets, and how their weaknesses turned to strength by calling on the Lord.            

       Strength is expanded by wisdom.  Proverbs 24:5 tells us that “a man of knowledge increases his strength.”  Knowledge is ammunition.  It is a tool that God can use through us.  Proverbs 21:22 tells us that a wise man can pull down strongholds in a mighty city.            

       Still our greatest source of our strength comes from above.  1 Corinthians 1:25 says, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.”              

       It was the Father’s strength that raised Jesus from the dead and placed Him above all things at His right side (Eph. 19:21).  The Apostle Paul understood this kind of strength when he said, “I can do everything [that pleases God] through [Christ] who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13).            

       Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength.  Science now understands that when we are joyful, chemicals are released in our brain that give us increased vigor, focus and motivation.              

       What particular kind of strength do you need in your workplace?  Endurance, patience, confidence, knowledge?  Perhaps it’s even physical strength.  Whatever we need, the Lord our God, our Strong Tower, is faithful to provide for the asking.   

       Let us remember Isaiah 41:10, which says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

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And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:16
Margaret D. Mitchell

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