Tag Archives: strength

Finding Strength in God

Good morning friends!  I am reading through the book of 1 Samuel right now.  As it has before, the relationship between David and Jonathan continues to amaze and delight me.  The type of relationship they shared is a unique example of how God can so deeply knit hearts together.

A couple verses that stand out to me are found in 1 Samuel 23:16-17.  It reads – “And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.  ‘Don’t be afraid’, he said ‘My father Saul will not lay a hand on you.  You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you.  Even my father Saul knows this.’  The two of them made a covenant before the Lord.  Then Jonathan went home but David remained at Horesh.”

Notice it says that Jonathan went to David to help him “find strength in God”.  Why, you may wonder, did David need help?  At this point in his life, David had been anointed King over Israel, but he had yet to take the throne.  The current King, Saul, was still ruling and reigning and hating David.  He hated David so much that he was trying to hunt him down in order to kill him.  David was on the run and was becoming weary.  Therefore he needed help in finding strength.  David knew the source of His strength, it was God and God alone.  Although he knew the source of his strength, he still needed help finding strength.

This is where the friend of his heart comes in.  These two simple verses show us how Jonathan helped David find his strength in God:

  1. Jonathan went to David. He gave him the gift of his presence.  Whatever else Jonathan was doing in his life, he put that on hold for a time in order to go help his friend.  What a friend.
  2. He calmed his fears. He brought words of comfort and peace – “Don’t be afraid . . .”  Sometimes we just need someone to tell us that everything is going to be OK, don’t we?
  3. He spoke the truth to David. “You will be king over Israel.”  Jonathan knew the truth and he reminded David of the truth.  God was still in charge and His plans would come to fruition in David’s life.  God hadn’t gotten David this far to ditch him now.
  4. Jonathan committed to stick with him and involved God in their commitment as they made covenant before Him. Two is better than one, but three is greater still.
  5. Finally, Jonathan left and went back to his life, but not until Jonathan knew David was strong once again. This is a good example of a healthy relationship.  Jonathan helped David, but then he left.  There is no unhealthy co-dependence here.

What a great lesson about how to help those closest in your life to find strength in God.  Do you have people who look to you to help them find strength?  Do you have people you look to?  It’s important that there is both, not just one or the other.  However, the more of a leader you come, the more lopsided this equation can become as well.  As a leader, you have many people looking to you and fewer and fewer you can look to.  Beware of this!  Isolation is a tool of the enemy to make you disconnected in the body of Christ.  Fight against it.  There are times you need help being strengthened in God.  Make sure you are being real and vulnerable with a couple of people whom God has placed in your life.  Just like God has placed you in other’s lives to strengthen them, He’s placed trusted people in your life to strengthen you.  Let them.

Your Friend in Ministry,



Holy Week, 2015

Hello friends! This is a most special time of the year, for us as believers, as we remember and reflect upon Jesus and His sacrifice. This week, I will be reading portions of Scripture leading up to the death and resurrection of Christ and I invite you to join me. See the reading plan below:

Mon 3/30: Luke 22:39-62

Tues 3/31: Luke 22:63-71

Wed 4/1: Luke 23:11-25

Thur 4/2: Mark 15:1-14

Fri 4/3: John 19:1-37

Sat 4/4: John 19:38-42

Sun 4/5: John 20, Acts 1:9

I will also be blogging some of my thoughts about the verses throughout the week as well.

Let’s start with today’s reading: Luke 22:39-62 . . .

Jesus was equally both God and man. In this portion of Scripture, we get a glimpse of His omniscience as He knows what is about to take place in His life, yet, we also see His human frailty as He sweats drops of blood and begs His Father to “remove this cup from me.” (vs. 42)

Of course we know that, because of His great love for you and me, God was not going to let Jesus get out of the brutal death and excruciating pain of having God the Father turn away from Him as He took upon the sin of every human being both past, present and yet unborn. That’s a lot of sin. Our only response can be, “Thank You, God, for loving us so much that You subjected Your Only Son to such torture”.

I believe that Jesus’ prayer in verse 42, sets a precedence for open and honest communication with God. Jesus shows us that it’s acceptable to ask God to remove something difficult from your life as long as you are surrendered to His ultimate will and purpose for your life. We all face things in life we wish would just go away: heartache, illness, broken relationships, financial struggles, etc . . . Just like Jesus, we can ask God to “remove this cup from me”, as long as we follow that request with, “yet not my will, but Yours be done”.

Since it was not God’s will to “remove this cup”, let’s not miss the significance of the very next verse, “And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him in spirit.” (vs. 43) If God doesn’t remove the difficulty in your life, you better believe He will send you all the help and strength you need to do what He’s called you to do, just like He did for Jesus.

Therefore, our response can be just like Jesus’ in verse 44, “He prayed all the more earnestly and intently”. If you find yourself in agony over current life circumstances, press into the Lord like never before. He has all you need to get you through! Just like He did with Jesus, He is doing something amazing in your life and it will turn out for your eventual good and His eternal glory!

Your Friend in Ministry,



When You Are Weary

It has been quiet on the blog as of late. Although my goal is to post something a minimum of twice per week, there are seasons where the demands of life and ministry make it impossible to do so. This is one of those times. Next weekend I am speaking at our Women’s Retreat and I am feverishly working to finish four messages for it. Also, I am honored to be presenting a workshop for ministry spouses a couple days after retreat, so I am preparing for that as well. To say I am a bit overwhelmed and weary is an understatement!

Years ago, I wrote the devotional below. As I reread it recently, it encouraged me in this frantic season. I hope it will be an encouragement to you as well! I will pray for strength, energy and endurance for you, whatever you are facing in this current season. Pray for me too?

He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy. Even youths get tired and weary; even strong young men clumsily stumble. But those who wait for the Lord’s help find renewed strength; they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, they run without growing weary, they walk without getting tired. Isaiah 40:29-31, NET

Anyone who has ever raised a little boy has probably made the same comment I have at least a hundred times . . . “If I could only have a fraction of his energy.” From the moment his eyes pop open in the morning until he lays his head on the pillow at night, my son is on the move. It is rare when I see him grow tired or weary, but when he does, oh how I love it when he comes to me cuddles up close and rests for a while. I cherish those moments because I know they are fleeting. It doesn’t take long for him to be re-charged and ready to again, just from resting with his mama for a minute or two.

Are you tired or weary right now due to illness, heartache, responsibility, circumstances beyond your control, or simply from growing old? Did you know that you have a place to go to rest for a while? “But those who wait for the Lord’s help find renewed strength.” As you rest in the “arms” of God, what you are saying is, “I trust you and will wait for you to meet my needs and take care of me.” You exchange your weariness for His strength, your weakness for His power. What a wonderful exchange!

Sometimes you only need moments to rest in His arms, and other times, you may need an extended length of time. Wherever you find yourself right now, don’t be like the little boy who tries to wriggle out of the loving embrace of his mother’s arms too soon. God has something good for you in that place, renewed energy and strength.

  • Strength to keep loving that difficult person in your life
  • Ability to handle a situation or responsibility that is beyond your natural ability
  • Willingness to get back up after you have blown it with your family and try again
  • Strength to walk through a situation you would never in a million years believed you would find yourself in

I have learned that I am wise to not fight waiting and resting in God’s arms because there is a great benefit that comes as a result, endurance. Endurance to “run without growing weary, and walk without getting tired . . .” Let’s practice resting right now. Find a quiet place, even if it’s in the bathroom (*smile*) and make this prayer your own: “Thank You, God, for these moments to rest in You. Remove the many distractions that cause me to wriggle away from Your loving embrace. As I sit here, fill me with Your strength and hope. Show me how this simple time with You increases my endurance for what lies ahead of me today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”


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