Do you ever feel like, This is about to do me in?
Whether it’s a day or a season, a person or a circumstance, the hard stuff can really do a number on us. It may involve our own life, the life of someone we care about, hard issues that are playing out in our country or the world—or all of the above.
Recently, I read through the apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. He is in prison when he writes it, yet he never even hints at feeling depleted, downcast, or desperate about his life. Instead, his words exude strength and focused faith in God.
How does Paul walk through the hard stuff and live strong? He isn’t superhuman; he is a man. In other passages, he humbly admits he is a sinner and has weaknesses.
He writes, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” (Ephesians 6.10)
He believes who God is. He thoroughly depends on him.
Paul and countless others in the Bible live out the hard days and seasons with a common source of strength and focus. None of them started out with impressive strength or focused faith—God gave and grew these traits in them, as they walked with him.
Abraham endured countless hard days and circumstances when he left his home to follow God’s plan, including years of no evidence to support God’s word that he would have children with his wife Sarah. When life wore him down or he messed up, he talked with God even more.
“No unbelief made him (Abraham) waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4.20-21)
The great cloud of witnesses who lived before us steadfastly praised God for who he is, not only when their prayers were answered.
“ . . . he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced . . .”
Ask God for his strength to pray, to believe him, to become fully convinced that he is almighty God.
Here’s what I wrote that morning in my journal ~
Please help me see and release to you all the ways that I try to do things on my own. I want to be strong, drawing from your strength. I want to depend on your power.
I want to think in your power. I want to listen, interpret, and respond in your power.
I want to be quiet and speak, let go and endure, wait and go, forgive and seek forgiveness, serve and work, be patient and kind, look for the good in others, pray for offenders, be still and pray more— in your power.
God wants you to experience his power every day. He wants us to give him glory in the very smallest matters of our day, as we plow through the hard stuff, and when we experience that in him we are more than conquerors.
Plenty of things in this life can feel like too much for me to handle or endure. Help me learn to come to you, even in the small things, so that I experience even more how near and faithful you are. Help me remember to invite and depend on your power. Thank you. Amen.