I try to be strong in the face of pain and struggles, but that doesn’t always work. The car breaks down. A loved one gets sick. Bills pile up, and the paycheck doesn’t stretch far enough.
Sometimes when hardships hit, I do okay with my own strength. That works for a while, but then reality creeps in, and inevitably, my strength dwindles away.
Another tactic I’ve used is to talk to myself and try to cheer away the pain. Thinking positively and gaining perspective can help, but at some point even encouraging words can’t cover the awfulness of a situation.
No matter how many times you say it’s going to be okay, it really isn’t. The cup gets empty. The light at the end of the tunnel fades. Human strength fails. There must be something more, and there is.
The Bible points us to another source of strength—one that does not change and that understands our struggle.
This strength flows from a deeper place. Faith opens the door to it, and God does the rest. It’s a mysterious thing to find your strength in Almighty God.
The bad stuff can bombard you, and yet you will stand, held up by God’s hand and comforted by His love. Sometimes the circumstances don’t change at all, but you’re strong—not with your own strength, but with His.
Over and over in scripture, we see broken people calling out to God, and He answers them. He comes to them, helps them, loves them. God’s love and help reaches into our darkest hurts and pains to bring healing and hope.
And it’s not just about feeling better in the midst of the struggle. God also emboldens us to accomplish the things we need to do. He strengthens our hearts to do our part, and somehow, after we’ve done what we could, we look back to see it was Him working in us all along.
It is a beautiful mystery to be strengthened by the hand of God. The Psalms are filled with cries for help and promises of God’s deliverance and strength. These faithful people written about in the Bible were not perfect. They were broken. Adulterers, murderers, liars, and lost.
The best thing they had going for them when the flood gates opened and the raging waters of pain crashed into their lives was God. They believed in God. For one second, they looked not at their own pain, but instead to the One who could love them through their pain.
If you are struggling today, if your strength is failing, and if you’re feeling weak and beaten, read the following verses.
God’s help to you is real. His love for you is complete, and nothing you’ve ever done and nothing you will ever face will be too big to be covered by His strength and love. Even if you’re unsure and struggle to believe, look to Him. He will help you.
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.”
“The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.”
Psalms 3:3 – 3:4
“But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.”
Psalms 18:1 – 18:2
“I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”
Psalms 118:5 – 118:6
“I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?”
Psalms 46:1 – 46:3
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.”
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
“The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”
“My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.”
Psalms 84:5 – 84:7
“Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.”
“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”
Psalm 28:6 – 28:8
“Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.”
“The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation. The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.”
Psalms 73:25 – 73:26
“Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”
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