Strength for the Journey
Where does a Christian get strength for the journey of life? We need power to go forward in the midst of life’s problems and difficulties.
Psalm 1 tells God’s people not to get their counsel from the ungodly, but to delight in God’s word. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous; but the way of the ungodly shall perish” (Psalm 1:1-6).
Our strength comes from God, who is always ready to help us. He does not faint or get weary. He never sleeps. In the book of Isaiah chapters 40 and 41, we are told that God knows all things. He gives strength and power to the weak. God said, “Fear thou not, for I am with thee, be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee, yea I will help thee, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10. We can still claim that promise today. The world has many things and activities, which they think they need to keep them going. But for the child of God the scriptures say “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15. Do we take time to be silent and wait upon God? Do we study God’s word and renew our strength for the journey of life
In 2 Timothy 1:7 Paul says “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”. In Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesians ch. 3, he asks God to strengthen the church through the Spirit in the inner man. Strength and power come from that connection with God. Christ dwelling in our hearts gives us strength to be rooted and grounded. It gives us understanding and knowledge. We are filled with the fullness of God. That’s strength. And Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.” Also the book of Proverbs (27:1-2) says “Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth, a stranger, and not thine own lips.” Goliath depended upon his own strength, but the Lord God gave David a great strength and he smote Goliath and cut off his head (1 Samuel 17:45-51).
Presently human beings depend upon their own selves, but the apostle James saya (4:13-17) “Go to now, ye that say, today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
God has not promised a life free from trouble and problems. But God has promised strength for the day. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). We may feel weak, but through Christ Jesus we can be strong if only we trust and believe in him. For Paul says in Philippians 3:14 “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”. verse 8, “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” (1 Timothy 6:7) We are not to rely upon our own strength, but upon the Lord, as the book of 1 Kings 19:7-8 says, “And the angel of the Lord came again the second time and touched him (Elijah), and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. And he arose and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.”
The Lord knows of all our weak points, so Brethren and Sisters, we have to ask strength from the Lord in our walk to the Kingdom as the coming of the Lord draws very near. Let us all therefore support and help one another through the strength of the Lord on that slippery and narrow road and have a place in that wonderful Kingdom of the Lord. May the Lord bless us all.
Bro. Joseph Oppong (Shama, Ghana)