In the past few weeks, I’ve attended several gymnastics meets to watch my youngest grandson compete. Kaleb is nine, and he has improved tremendously at each meet. He sprained his wrist just before the first competition of the season and had to miss the meet. I’ve watched him work his way back to the top. Last weekend he medaled in five of the six events and took second place all-around! Yes, I’m proud of him.
Last night Kaleb did a hand-stand next to the back of our recliner and placed his knees over the top of the chair back, so that he was hanging vertically. He asked me to hold his feet while he did sit-ups. He did five before my hand strength began to wane. He’s always looking for new ways to build his strength, and asked to go to an extra practice session so he would be ready for the State meet this weekend. Many of us walk or exercise in some way to build or maintain our physical strength. I was also wondering about spiritual strength. There’s much evil around us, and we need strength to stand up to it, fight it off, and not get sucked up in it. So, what can we do for spiritual strength?
I checked my Bible concordance, and I was surprised to see that many times the word strength appears in the songs and prayers of godly men and women.
For example, the book of Exodus in the Bible tells us that God chose Moses to lead the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. They miraculously crossed the Red Sea on dry ground. Moses then sang a song of praise, including these words: “The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation” (Exodus 15:2 NIV).
God delivered David from the hand of King Saul, who wanted to kill him. David sang to God saying, “It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect” (2 Samuel 22:33, NIV).
Later, as King, David prepared a tent for the ark of the covenant, which was the center of worship and a symbol of God’s protection and leadership over the nation. When the ark was brought to Jerusalem, David sang this song: “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always” (1 Chronicles 16:11, NIV). That’s still good advice today.
Many years later, the prophet Isaiah wrote these words that God gave to him: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10, NIV).
When we are overcome or our strength is failing, we can look to the Lord, who renews the strength of those who hope in Him. He will lift us up and hold us with His hand. That’s His promise!