Life is full of ups and downs. Sometimes, we’re up. Sometimes, we’re down. Sometimes, we’re up on the mountaintop. Sometimes, we’re down in the valley. We’re on an emotional rollercoaster! This is life as we know it. Is it life as God wants it to be? To ask the question is to give the answer! We may face difficult circumstances – but God is there with us! He gives us the strength to rise above our circumstances. He gives us the strength to keep standing when everyone around us is falling down. Many people are no longer walking with the Lord. They have chosen the way of the world. When we are tempted to join them, let us remember where our true strength comes from: “The Lord is the everlasting God … He strengthens those who are weak and tired” (Isaiah 40:28-29).
* Receiving new strength from the Lord begins when we recognize that we need His strength.
Without His strength, our life will be a disaster area. Things will go from bad to worse. We try going it alone. What do we achieve? Life doesn’t get any better – but we get more bitter! What are we left with when we turn our back on the Lord? – We’re left with nothing but “an aching void the world can never fill.” The world doesn’t give us any real answers to life’s big questions. It just leaves us with more questions. We start thinking about what’s going on in our lives and we wonder, “Where is the blessedness I knew when I first saw the Lord? Where is the soul-refreshing view of Jesus and His word?” (Mission Praise, 494). This is the beginning of our way back to the Lord – “How can I know peace within? Lead me to the cross of Jesus. Sing a song of joy again! Lead me to the cross of Jesus” (Mission Praise, 846).
* We receive new strength from the Lord when we remember how much He loves us.
When we’re feeling low, God is there to raise us up. He reminds us of the great things He has done for us. He takes us back to the cross of Jesus. He takes us back to the empty tomb. He assures of His love. We may have stopped loving Him. He never stops loving us. We’ve failed Him so often. He has never failed us – and He never will! We face a new challenge, and we think, “I can’t face this. This is too much for me.” Is it too much for the Lord? No! It’s not! Must we face this challenge on our own? No! The Lord is with us. He loves us – and He gives us His strength. God’s Word comes to us with the biggest challenge of all: “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). We say, ‘That’s not me. I’m not like that.’ We need to receive new strength from the One who is ‘like that’ – “the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). When you feel like things are getting too much for you, remember Jesus. Remember that He loves you. Remember that He gave Himself for you. He still gives Himself to you. He gives you His strength – to keep on going, looking to Him and living for Him.
* We receive new strength from the Lord when we stand upon His promises of love.
“The joy that the Lord gives you will make you strong” (Nehemiah 8:10). What a wonderful promise of God this is! He doesn’t leave us in our sadness. He gives us His strength. He doesn’t leave us in our weakness. He gives us His strength. Sometimes, we seem to be almost overwhelmed by our own sadness and weakness. When we feel like this, there is something we must never forget: “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” The joy is there for us. The strength is there for us. The Lord is there for us. Where does the joy come from? – It comes from the Lord. Where does the strength come from? – It comes from the Lord. God has given us His promise. It’s the promise of His love. He won’t break His promise. He will give us His joy. He will give us His strength.
Let us “wait on the Lord and renew our strength” (Isaiah 40:31).