A Strength Within

Well, it has certainly been a while since my last post, but between nannying out of town, college classes starting again and my day job resuming, I have been slightly busy.  The month that I have not written has given me time to think over some things, however, and will be fodder for more posts in the future!

I have decided to do a study of the book of John.  My church may be doing a study on the book as well, I just learned, but I beat them to it!  So these next posts will share a little of what I learn from reading the gospel “written to the whole world”.  I hope all my readers learn along with me!

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  John 1:1-5

I think this is one of the most beautiful passages in all of the Bible.  It sums up creation to Christ in five verses, and contains the hope that we, as Christians, possess.  “The Word”, as John writes, refers to Jesus.  He was in the beginning,  not only with God, but as God.  He took part in the creation of the world — He made all things, and without Him, nothing would be in existence.  We would not be in existence.

“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…”  

                                                                                         ~Gen. 1:26

Not only did Christ create the world with and as God, but He came to earth, to the very people He created, to bring them life.  Not the life He breathed into us at the beginning, a life that is doomed to end because of Adam’s rebellion — but a life that is everlasting.  The life He gave, and has given us, is our guide and our support as we live our mortal lives.  His life, as John wrote, is “the light of men”.  It is the beacon that we follow as we journey onward.

If you are a Christian, you have the life that Jesus promised He would give to those who surrender their lives to Him.  But once we have that life, and the novelty begins to wear off our salvation, we realize the things we have to give up.  At first, it was easy.  We were so happy to give them up for Christ!  But Satan will bring them back to tempt us — persuading us that the life we had was a lot more fun and adventurous, and didn’t involve the sacrifice we face as Christians.  It’s true, there IS sacrifice involved in following Christ.  So how do we continue to walk in the life and light that Jesus brought us, even when we don’t feel like it?

In times like these, I pray for strength.  I was told to pray for strength, I read that I needed strength, and I knew in my heart I couldn’t (and can’t) bring God glory simply by being myself.  But I began to notice that even when I prayed for strength, I didn’t get it.  I didn’t feel any stronger against temptation, and I didn’t see any tangible results.  Yet here was the root of the problem — I wanted, and sometimes continue to want, to feel strong before I believe that I have the strength I need.  The truth is, God works in the exact reverse of my system.

Christianity is a walk of faith.  What is faith?  It is believing in something that is not seen.   If we see it and then believe it, as so many people want to do, it is no longer faith, because the proof is before our eyes.  That is conditional belief. 

“…Now hope that is seen is not hope.  For who hopes for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Rom. 8:24-25

God calls us to unconditional belief — faith that does not depend on circumstance or selfish interest.  He calls us to trust Him.  This is essential in our walk with Him.  We need His strength to make it through even one day — just to face the temptations that are coming to test us.  So we pray, asking for God’s strength for the day.  Then what?  This is what I realized — and it was a real lightbulb moment for me:

The strength I prayed for, as soon as I asked, was given to me.  It is with me already.  All I have to do is live in the belief that God’s strength is in me through His Holy Spirit, and the reservoir of strength is always available.

The reason I continued to fail in this area was that I did not believe that God had given me His strength until I felt like it.  I was not trusting God and His word.  It comes down to this:  God asks us to first believe He will keep His promises, and then act on that belief.  It is as simple as that.  With the strength He is within us, we can overcome!

“In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Jn. 1:4-5

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3 Responses

  1. “Not only did Christ create the world with and as God, but He came to earth, to the very people He created, to bring them life. Not the life He breathed into us at the beginning, a life that is doomed to end because of Adam’s rebellion — but a life that is everlasting.”

    You put this so well. Nice post.
    God bless.

  2. That is so true! So many times I’ve asked the Lord for power and strength, and I’ve “waited” for it, waited to “feel” powerful, and it never came. Then I realized I just needed to step out in faith and act on the belief that I have His strength, and I found that I really did!

  3. I agree. I think many times, like you said, after awhile Christians no longer want to serve because Satan does get in there and make them start doubting Christ and what they have in Christ. He makes them think about the things of the world they gave up. I watched a video with Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron on this, and so sad!

    Thanks for your comment on my post.

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