You Don’t Have To Be Strong

There’s a verse in the Bible we often quote when we’re needing an extra boost to make it through the day or a tough moment. We often cite this walking into intimidating meetings, the home stretch of exercising or the middle of an exhausting day, but allow me to pose to you a different way to think about this particular verse–that we should speak and pray this over ourselves in the midst of not just hard moments, but over our lives as well.

Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” and most times we are asking for God to “beef up” our strength to simply make it to the end of a moment. But friends, this isn’t just a momentary verse but a truth that can be and should be applied to our lives. When Paul wrote this sentiment, I believe it was a beautiful glimpse into his prayer life. A wise nugget he dropped for us to gather as we took in his ability to now be content in and through all things. I believe Paul was sharing with us that the strength he now rested in was not his own, but his Father’s. He was declaring a truth he now knew deeply within his soul, and I believe he wanted to pass that wealth of revelation to us. He could do ALL of these things, this life, because he was not asking for God to strengthen his strength, but instead asking for God’s strength to replace his own–the strength that never runs dry.

It’s no surprise that we are all needing a miraculous boost in our strength this year. It’s been a doozy, to say the least. We need renewed mental and physical strength. We need strength as we maneuver through a pandemic and grieve with those who have lost loved ones, jobs and security. We need strength to seek justice for our black/brown brothers and sisters, and as we learn how to truly live in the messiness of life together. We need strength as this election approaches to love one another as Christ loves us, even in our disagreements. We need strength to bear one another’s burdens as life happens in the midst of potential trauma. We need the supernatural strength Paul lovingly speaks of every. single. day. of our lives. We need God’s strength.

And that astounding, immovable Strength is available to us all!

Even as I share these thoughts with you, I’m praying for God to pour His strength into my family because exhaustion is high and we have been stretched thin on every side. There have been lots of tears and the fighting of hopelessness, and I’m sure we’re not alone. I realized that in the midst of life happening, we were guilty of praying for our natural strength to pick up the load and requesting God to simply keep it from falling. When we think this way, pray this way, we are still standing in an “I got it” mentality, and not actually wanting God to be sovereign, but just a supervisor.

It reminds me of watching my toddlers sway, stumble and bump into walls as they carry something too large for them all while I’m constantly saying, “If you would just let me help you…” That’s why I wanted to share with you what’s been our saving grace when all that we have, and all that we are feels hallowed out. We declare what Paul declared, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me because His strength will never end. His strength is strong enough to carry you not just to the end, but into abundant life. His strength will never falter or tire of holding you. His strength is always available to you if you’d only ask. His strength never judges what you’re too weak or broken to carry. His strength comes with unfathomable love and shelter that we all so desperately need.

So, instead of declaring Phillipians 4:13 as a momentary fix, declare it as a prayer over your life and over your family’s life as a daily connecting point to your Father’s heart and His love for you. You CAN DO, GET THROUGH, WALK THROUGH, HEAL FROM, ENCOUNTER, OVERCOME all things when you allow Christ to trade His miraculous strength for yours.

Candace Smith

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