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A Study of Spiritual Strength & Gaining Strength from God

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When you think of the word “strength,” what do you picture? Physical strength? Spiritual strength? Inner strength?

A muscle-laden man lifting weights? Steel? American Ninja Warriors?

Or do you picture the mom who buried her child yet placed her hope in God? The man who lost everything when he was laid off from his job but continued to have a smile on his face? The child who faced multiple cancer surgeries but encouraged the other children?

The first three listings for the definition of “strength”, according to Merriam-Webster, are:

1. the quality or state of being strong: capacity for exertion or endurance

2: power to resist force 

3: power of resisting attack

Until recently, I never really thought that I was strong. I’m still not strong physically (I’m done when my husband tries to tickle me – I am too weak physically to fight back 🙂 )  I am, however, a beast spiritually! That is, I have spiritual strength.

Not long ago, I attended a life-changing intensive spiritual retreat called Quest, hosted by Fellowship of the Sword. Soon, I’ll share my experience and why I feel attendance should be mandatory for all Christians, but God talked to me about strength in two ways on this retreat.

First, our friends and loved ones wrote letters to us for us to read during a special time in the week. Several of my friends and both of my sons wrote about my spiritual strength, my oldest son sharing that I am “the strongest woman they know.”

As I prayed and reflected on these letters from those I love, God revealed to me that I have spiritual strength and a spiritual life I never recognized before. I never knew. But, this strength doesn’t come from me, it comes from Him.

I used to have a tendency to take it all on – the to-do list, the hurts, even my kid’s hurts – everything.

During my Quest, I was able to do what God had intended for us all along: Give it all to Him.

When I am weak, He is strong.

God’s plan was not for us to simply deal with what life gives us. His plan is for us to find our spiritual strength in Him.

image of woman praying with the text A Study of Spiritual Strength & Gaining Strength from God

Spiritual Strength

In a world often defined by chaos, uncertainty, and the relentless pursuit of material success, the quest for spiritual strength emerges as a beacon of hope and resilience. It’s the inner fortitude that empowers us to navigate life’s turbulent waters with grace, to weather storms with unwavering faith, and to find solace amidst the noise of modern existence. In this post, we delve into the profound significance of spiritual strength, exploring its transformative power in fostering inner peace, sustaining resilience, illuminating the path to a more fulfilling Christian life journey, and expanding on our love of God.

When we are faced with a challenge or difficult circumstance, many of us will pray for God to help us, but then we try to fix the problem on our own, anyway.

We are missing something very important when we do this:  Trusting God.

God has already promised us His strength! His spiritual strength.

Through God’s power, we can find spiritual strength in the Word of God displayed in many books and stories of God’s chosen.

It’s right there in Isaiah, 1 Chronicles, and Exodus (and many more places in the Bible)

fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!

1 Chronicles 16:11 (ESV)

fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!

1 Chronicles 16:11 (ESV)

The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

Exodus 15:2 (ESV)

Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength

Nehemiah 8:10 (ESV)

So let’s go back to the three definitions of strength listed above.

1. the quality or state of being strong: capacity for exertion or endurance

2. power to resist force 

3. power of resisting attack

Is God strong, and does He have endurance? Can He be our stronghold to endure the earthly challenges we face? YES!

Does God have the power to resist the force of the devil? Can He be our power to resist temptation? YES!

Does God have the strength to resist an attack in our lives from Satan? Will He? YES!

When many of us face a difficult life situation, we pray, and that’s it. Instead, remind yourself of His strength and the spiritual strength you have in Him. Trust Him and then act. Don’t just pray and forget.

The Word says that we are to walk and live by faith. What does that look like when we are feeling defeated, lonely, receive bad news, are broken, or hurt? When you are dealing with any issue on this side of heaven, remind yourself of the promises that God has made to all believers, then pray and give the issues to the One Who has the strength to battle them. Don’t stop there – BELIEVE that He is Who He says He is and that He will give you His strength to face them.

Stories About Spiritual Strength in the Bible

We have so many illustrations of God’s strength in the Bible that you can be encouraged by simply reading His Word.

If you need some more encouragement, I want to remind you of just three (of the many) stories in the Bible about strength.

The Story of Gideon

And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’

But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” 
And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?”And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” 

And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.”

Judges 6:12-16 (ESV)

Gideon knew that he didn’t possess the strength to defeat the Midianties on his own. God assured him that He would protect Gideon and that he would win the battle before him.

Because God is always with us and has promised to help us and be our strength, we can have peace and not fear. When our strength comes from God, we can do things we never imagined possible.

Are you facing a hard situation? A broken marriage? A lost job? A financial hardship? Your strength to endure and win the battle comes from a God who loves you and is always with you.

The Story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago

Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 
Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. 

And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 

Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace. Because the king’s order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 

And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?”

They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”

Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire.

Daniel 3:14-26 (ESV)

Have you ever been faced with a hard decision? Difficult times? Maybe whether to stand up for what you believe in? When you do, know that God gives you the strength to make the right choice – no matter how hard it may be.

 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew what the king was asking was wrong and that God would be their strength and deliver them from that situation. When faced with this choice, they did not hesitate to stand up for God.

The King didn’t win that battle, and neither did Satan.

In the end, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were safe, and God received the glory due to Him.

When you face a tough decision or the opportunity to advocate for something you believe in, God will give you the strength to choose what is most pleasing to Him.

(You can read more about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in this post, ‘Trusting God Through Trials – Where is God?’ Worth Beyond Rubies.)

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The Story of Esther

“All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law—to be put to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter so that he may live. But as for me, I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days.”

And they told Mordecai what Esther had said.  Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” 

Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”

Esther 4:11-16 (ESV)

Every now and then, God presents us with opportunities and supernatural spiritual strength to impact the lives of others.

Esther’s people, the Israelites, were in trouble. Despite being married to King Xerxes (Ahasuerus), the King didn’t know that she was a Jew.

King Xerxes had been coerced into killing all of the Jewish people.

Esther, quiet and unassuming, was afraid to do or say anything about it to the King. Until her cousin, Mordecai, reminds Esther that she has been given her royal position “for such a time as this.” He reminded her that God would give her the strength and courage to use her position to help the Jewish people.

Sometimes, God gives us opportunities so we can make a difference in others’ lives, to help them on their physical or spiritual journey.

If God puts you in a position to do something good, He will give you the strength and the courage to complete the task.

(You can learn more about the story of Esther in the Bible and the lessons we can learn from her in this post.

Spiritual Strength When You Feel Weak

I am not God. Only He is God.

Few of us willingly admit our weaknesses. We tend to highlight our strengths instead. People aren’t able to see who we really are, our emotions, our spirit. If they did, they would see that we all have struggles, flaws, and insecurities.

If they saw these things, it might change the way they view us. Our weaknesses may be hidden from other people but not from God. He knows, and He doesn’t look at our outward appearance; He looks at our hearts. He gives us spiritual strength.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV)

When we are weak, it is an opportunity for God to work mightily in our lives. When our bodies or hearts fail us, He is the strength of our hearts.

My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:26 (ESV)

When we look at and truly reflect on the areas of our lives where we know we are weak, I pray that we look to the Lord Jesus and marvel at how He works through our weaknesses for His glory.

Throughout the world, there are Christians, at this very moment, who are experiencing torture, imprisonment, physical attacks, and even death for their faith in Jesus.

It is often in these circumstances that others are able to see Jesus. They see the tortured hold on to faith and know Christ Jesus in a very real way. Whatever you are facing, internally or in life’s circumstances, the Holy Spirit “helps us in our weakness.” The Holy Spirit provides us with spiritual strength when we just don’t have our own.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

Romans 8:26  (ESV)

The grace of God is sufficient and made perfect in our weakness, and we can receive grace upon grace from Him in our time of need.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)

For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.  

John 1:16 (ESV)

God Doesn’t Abandon Us in Our Weakness

One of the most comforting promises that Jesus shared is that He will be with us always until the end of the age.

“teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20  (ESV)

We know this with confidence because He is the truth and can empower us, with the help of the Spirit, to turn to Him in our weakest moments. In Him, we can find the spiritual strength that we need to move forward.

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”

John 14:6  (ESV)

He will not leave us nor forsake us. By turning to Him when we are weary, feeling weak, or alone, we can experience the spiritual strength that comes from Him because His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.

In Hebrews 4:15-16 we read: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Jesus empathizes with us in our weakness and advocates on our behalf to the Father, and He gives us the mercy and grace to help us when we are in need.

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

1 John 2:1  (ESV)

When you feel weak and need the powerful spiritual strength of our Father, the roaring lion, read and pray what His Word promises to believers. Bathe yourself in the Bible and its promises, and reflect on Bible verses about strength.

You may also wish to put this song on high volume. (You Are My Strength, by Hillsong Worship)

As we conclude our exploration of spiritual strength, let us remember that it is not merely a concept to be pondered but a practice to be embraced in our daily lives. It is through cultivating this inner reservoir of resilience, faith, and compassion that we truly empower ourselves to transcend challenges and find meaning in every moment.

May we continue to nurture our spiritual strength, drawing upon its boundless energy to navigate life’s journey with courage, grace, and a heart filled with love. In the end, it is through the depth of our spiritual strength that we discover our truest selves and forge a connection with the infinite beauty of the universe.

Remember who you are and WHOSE you are and that your spiritual strength comes from the Lord!

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You, my friend, have the spiritual strength of a warrior because your strength comes from God!

If you are looking for a good book on strength in the Bible, I love this book: The Strength You Need: The Twelve Great Strength Passages in the Bible by Robert Morgan.

ESV – “Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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