Our daughter and her husband are raising four boys, and she likes to tell me about their “teachable moments.” I’m going to share my “teachable moment” from the Lord that may help you with enduring strength.
A few weeks into the pandemic, watching the news and understanding the effects of viral deaths, lockdown, lost jobs, and social injustice, my heart was extremely grieved. My empathy and compassion were overwhelmed. My husband retired, so we have not personally been impacted like others. Nonetheless, my heart took one stab after another. One early morning, the Lord told me to go to the book of James.
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)
The joy of the Lord is a fruit of the Spirit connected to our spirit man. Joy is an overwhelming sense of well-being, trusting that God is working in us and for us, accomplishing His purposes. It is a strength during trials. Joy during difficulties releases our faith in the One who can bring victory. Our faith is currently being tested at epic levels. Are we going to stand firm for Jesus in this hour of adversity? Will our faith continue to trust in God and not man?
The shaking that is taking place in our nation is not ending anytime soon. The exposure of darkness is greater than what we could have imagined. However, let me encourage you. The world’s shaking does not need to shake our faith which is steadfast on the rock of Jesus Christ! This is our moment to arise and shine, for the world to see a demonstration of the love and power of Christ Jesus!
As disciples of Christ, we must guard against the shaking of the enemy. There are ways to keep us steadfast. Below is a list of ways to stay strong in this hour and have enduring strength.
* Meditate on the word of God. “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does he prospers.” Psalms 1:2-3. The word of God keeps our focus on the Lord rather than the world. The word renews our mind and strengthens our faith.
* Pray. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7. Our prayers are important in this hour for our personal lives and the future of our country. Faith-filled prayers engage the power of God on our behalf, and grant us peace.
* Praise and thanksgiving. “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100:4-5. We thank Him for who He is and what He is doing. In every season there is something to thank God for. Praise and thanksgiving produce joy.
* Watch your thoughts. “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Cor. 10:5. The devil wants us to agree with His thoughts of destruction, producing division between every race and culture. Instead, we want our thoughts to be kingdom thoughts producing reconciliation and a godly life.
* Words are weapons. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Prov. 18:21.
Our words produce emotion and activity. We can curse and bless. The temptation is strong to curse people who have darkened counsel. Let’s be intentional to use our words to activate God’s love, power and wisdom.
* Play. While play is not listed in scripture, let me share the benefits. This is good for our soul and much needed during times of stress and intensity. According to Google, play helps: relieve stress by triggering the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Improves brain function by playing games that challenge the brain.
Stimulates the mind and boosts creativity, stimulating your imagination. Improves relationships and your connection to others by sharing laughter and fun. Keeps you feeling young and energetic by boosting energy, vitality and resistance to disease. Play is helpful in restoring our soul and diffusing intensity.
Our enduring strength comes from the Lord Himself, as we give Him time and attention. Our focus is not on what the enemy is doing, although we want to be aware and discerning. Our focus is on Jesus Christ who is calling us back to His embrace. He is renewing our strength to send us as light into the darkness. May the manifestation of God’s love and power be demonstrated every where we go!