Lent Devotion Day 39

Source: First5
God Promises His Strength

Scripture: Isaiah 41:10 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
do not fear, for I am with you,
    do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

Creator God in his infinite wisdom and love chose to create mankind knowing full well that we would choose our ways over his. We’re made with a terrible capacity to live out of our own strength. As a result, we see in both Scripture and our own lives incredible failures—examples of our collective weakness played out before our very eyes. We see it in the declining morality of society. We see it in the very lives of those around us that just can’t seem to get it together. Weakness seems to be threaded into the very fabric of our world. The world is plagued by the weakness of those who inhabit it.

But, the Bible also contains incredible stories of the victories of God’s people. The list goes on and on: Moses and the Egyptians, David and Goliath, Samson and the Philistines, and the early church spreading the gospel across the world despite insurmountable odds. And along with all the stories of victory, Scripture also contains many stories of failure. So, what made the difference? What separates the stories of success from the stories of failure? The difference is found in the people of God allowing God to be their strength. Success in Scripture came solely when God was made strong in man’s weakness.

Psalm 103:13-14 says, “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” God created us. He knows our weakness. He knows that apart from him we can do nothing. But the beauty of the gospel is that as believers we are no longer apart from him. Through the death of Jesus, we are now one with Christ, wrapped up in his story of redemption. We have been saved from having to do life on our own, in our own strength.

Your heavenly Father says to you today, “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). Your God is the same God of David, Samson, Paul, and John. The success that they had was the direct result of their choosing God’s strength over their own. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “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.” Paul chose to boast of his weakness because he knew of the steadfast strength of God in his own life. He knew that his success was solely by the strength of his God.
Your heavenly Father promises his strength to you today. Just as he worked to help Paul spread the gospel, just as he helped David slay the giant Goliath, he desires to help you today in whatever lies ahead. Acknowledge your weakness but at the same time, hold fast to the the knowledge of the incredible strength of your heavenly Father. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “He will not leave you or forsake you.” The strength of God is always with you. All you have to do is choose his ways over your own. Live in light of the revelation of your own weakness and God’s strength, and you will experience the power of the Creator of the universe working directly in your own life.