Monday, March 13, 2017

Joy of the Lord is Strength Forever

UV 2224/10000 Joy of the Lord is Strength
Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
Isaiah 26 v 4

Strength in human terms is a relative resource. One is strong in comparison with the competition or the opposition. A person who is strong in his youth, becomes weak when old. The strength gives joy or delight to the one who possesses it. But, scripture is counter intuitive in saying, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” In other words, strength does not give joy but joy of the Lord gives strength. When Jesus said, “ The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak,” He was emphasizing that the strength of our bodies cannot be relied upon. As flesh and blood, each of us is subject to a variety of weaknesses. But if our spirit is willing to trust in the Lord, consistently and persistently, for eternal strength, eternal life, the abundant resources of the kingdom of God, we will be filled with such everlasting strength. Such strength will not ebb or wane. It will keep increasing from one kind of strength to another. Strength that is imparted from above and within is grace. Our weaknesses are no longer threats but opportunities for Jehovah to show His grace. Grace helps us overcome every weakness and challenge in our lives.

The Lord Jehovah, the Great I Am is the source of our strength. He has become our strength when we place our entire trust in Him to do as He wills in our lives. Doing the will of the Lord in our lives is our chief source of joy. The other day I met a young person who is Asia’s strongest, India’s strongest man. He can with his bare hands tear an enormous telephone directory, roll a steel frying pan like a newspaper, break a baseball bat, flip a car, blow a hot water bag into a balloon and burst it. All these acts require enormous strength but he acknowledges that his natural strength was a liability for him and his family before he trusted Jehovah and placed his heart in Jesus’s hands. He was involved in several fights and had eleven criminal cases against him for beating up people. At that point in time, he was introduced to a power team of very strong persons who did these feats to convey the strength they found in doing the will of the Lord. That transformed his life and he became a gentle giant.

One can have the power of a giant but never use it like a giant. We can be enormously rich but we should not trust in these riches. We can be intellectually very developed but we should not place our faith in our knowledge or intellectual capacity. We can be socially influential and politically powerful but we cannot flaunt it or flout the rules. We can be physically very attractive or strong or charismatic but we should not place much store by these superficial strengths. When the “I Am” is with us and in us, He becomes to us the very strength we need at a particular moment or juncture of our lives. If we are lonely, He will fellowship with us and make us rejoice. If we feel foolish, He will supply us the wisdom we need to tackle a particular challenge. If we are disheartened, He will encourage us. If we are needy, He will meet that specific need in natural as well as supernatural ways. Enormous and eternal strength that never fades is always accessible to a person of faith in the Lord.

Prateep V Philip

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