“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”
From the earliest pages of Scripture, in both the Old and New Testaments, we are introduced to the reality of temptation, sin, the consequences of sin and the existence of the mysterious figure called ‘the devil.’ In the accounts of His temptation in the desert Jesus is described as having conversation with ‘the devil’. As no one else was present these accounts could have come only from Jesus Himself. Later on we often find Jesus, and then the apostles, engaged in driving out evil spirits from people. It is small wonder then that the New Testament writers, particularly Paul, Peter and John, pick up on what they perceive as a reality that needs to be addressed.
Paul begins by exhorting his readers to ‘be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.’ Every Christian will know from experience that it is impossible to resist temptation and live a godly life in one’s own power. Even the challenges and hurts of life can threaten to overwhelm us. The Psalmist at times cries out, and at other times acknowledges God’s provision,
- “we were overwhelmed by sins” (Psalm 65:3)
- “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck.” (Psalm 69:1)
- “I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.” (Psalm 18:1-2)
- “Sing for joy to God our strength;” (Psalm 81:1)
For us as Christians the wonder and glory is that it is not our own strength that is important but that of God. God has exercised His power on our behalf and will continue to do so.
- “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 1:18-20)
We need to practice the truth that, as we walk through every day, God Himself is with us and in us in the person of the Holy Spirit. He is with us as Father, Saviour, Redeemer, Comforter, Guide, Teacher and Strength. He is with us not only as a presence but in all His power and might – enabling us to face and meet the challenges and temptations that will come our way – if we will accept it.
I am never alone. God is with me every moment to love, guide and strengthen me.
Father please help me to believe in and trust Your presence in my life. Help me to walk with you and, in Your strength, to face the days with their trials and temptations, and to keep standing. Amen.