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Let's take some time each day this week to meditate on the great thought that God is our strength. Both individually and congregationally, we frequently come up against things that seem beyond our ability to handle. There are awesome tasks to be accomplished, fearful dangers to be risked, terrible temptations to be overcome, and serious needs to be filled. Nearly every day we are reminded that we can't make it on our own. And we ought to be genuinely thankful that we don't have to do so. Since God is our strength, our confidence is in Him.
God is the inexhaustible supply of everything we need to live joyous lives and do His work productively. Are we in any kind of physical jeopardy? Do we fear for our lives or our health? Is Satan assaulting us with persecution or temptation? God cares, and He will help us. Whatever we need to do to be victorious over the bad things in life, God will see that we can do it. Paul's attitude can be ours: "I can do all things through him who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13).
Do we worry over not having life's material necessities? Do we fear being inadequate in the spiritual work God has for us? Do we feel inferior or needy? God knows how we feel, and He is the strength that we need to rely on. In fact, God's strength shines through brightest during our times of greatest need and apparent weakness.
To the Corinthians, Paul wrote, "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Cor. 12:9,10). And concerning their own work, he wrote, "God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work" (2 Cor. 9:8).
God wants us to be cheerful and courageous, not because we feel adequate ourselves but because we can be strong in Him. Jesus told His disciples: "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world" (Jn. 16:33). If God is truly the God we believe He is, we can "be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might" (Eph. 6:10).
Monday: Exodus 14:10-14,21-31
Key Idea: God is much stronger than we are.
Questions for Family Growth: Just because a problem looks big to us, does that mean God can't do anything about it? What did the people of Israel say when they saw the Egyptians? What did Moses say in vv.13,14? What are some things we'll need God's help with this week?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 10:18.
Tuesday: Daniel 1:1-21
Key Idea: God helps us when we stand up for what is right.
Questions for Family Growth: Do we ever have to do what is wrong just because somebody else says so? Is it ever permissible to do wrong in order to be successful or get ahead in life? What does God want us to do when we're tempted to do wrong?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 10:19-21.
Wednesday: Luke 22:54-62
Key Idea: We ought never to be ashamed of God.
Questions for Family Growth: What do you think Peter was afraid of? What are some ways we may act as Peter did on this occasion? In his fear, what were some truths Peter was forgetting? How did Peter feel when he realized what he had done?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 10:22.
Thursday: 2 Corinthians 3:4-6
Key Idea: God will always see that we have what we truly need.
Questions for Family Growth: What does it mean to be "sufficient"? Will God give us everything we want in life? Why or why not? Does God ever expect us to do anything we do not have the resources to do? Will He help us in the doing of His will?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 10:23-25.
Friday: Psalm 23:1-6
Key Idea: With God, we don't ever have to be afraid.
Questions for Family Growth: What are the things we tend to be most afraid of in life? What is "the valley of the shadow of death"? What are some practical things we can do to build up our confidence in God's strength?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 10:26.