“The Lord is my Strength and my [impenetrable] Shield; my heart trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song will I praise Him.” Ps 28:7
The fact that God is my Strength is more meaningful than I fully comprehended at first. If you look at the word ‘strength’, it’s meaning includes the following:
This is incredible. The fact that God is our strength means He IS our energy when we feel weak and tired. He IS our courage when we feel cowardly or faint-hearted. He IS our health when we are sick. He IS our power when we are incapable as humans. He IS our security when we are in danger or threatened. He IS our stability when we lose our balance in life and become unsteady. He IS our anchor when we feel disconnected from life. He IS our ability when we lack the skill or talent to accomplish a task. He IS our influence when we lack motivation or zest in life. He IS our value at all times – through His death on the cross we understand what we mean to Him.
Rejoice in the Lord, who is your STRENGTH!
Joy can be described as an emotion of great delight and happiness caused by something exceptionally good and satisfying. Reading the last part of the sentence reminded me of God – He is exceptionally good and He satisfies the hungry soul (Ps 107:9). It is therefore logical to deduct that His character, and knowing Him will cause great delight and happiness!
What’s more – this joy and happiness is called our strength in the Word. Not holiness, or upright living – but JOY. Our strength therefore lies in the gladness living in our hearts due to knowing the true character of God.
“And be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.” Neh 8:10
“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” Ps 16:11
“Honor and majesty are [found] in His presence; strength and joy are [found] in His sanctuary.” 1 Chron 16:27
“For You make him to be blessed and a blessing forever; You make him exceedingly glad with the joy of Your presence.” Ps 21:6
“Therefore God, [even] Your God ( Godhead), has anointed You with the oil of exultant joy and gladness above and beyond Your companions.” Heb 1:9
There is so much truth and power in the above mentioned verses. Joy will come as a direct result (i.e. naturally) from an encounter with the true character of God. If you are feeling any other emotion (i.e. burdened, depressed or sorrowful) you are not dealing with the true God. This joy goes far over and above all earthly joy (it exceeds above and beyond our companions). It is heavenly! Spend time with the true God, the good God – and you will experience real, authentic joy.
We don’t live by the same set of rules that the world lives by (John 17:16). In the world we get praised for what we have accomplished or how far we’ve come in your own strength. We have ignorantly tried to apply the same set of rules to our Christian lives – trying to please God through noble accomplishments, achievements and spiritual warfare.
In Christianity the only achiever was Jesus. We are most ‘spiritual’ when we realize we cannot accomplish or achieve anything worthy of God’s praise on our own. The only ‘work’ that pleases Him is faith in the complete sacrifice of His Son, who achieved everything (John 6:29). If we understand this, Christ will truly manifest in our lives.
“I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me;” Gal 2:20
“Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit” Zac 4:6
“My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness.” 2 Cor 12:7-10
“If anyone among you supposes that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool [let him discard his worldly discernment and recognize himself as dull, stupid, and foolish, without true learning and scholarship], that he may become [really] wise. For this world’s wisdom is foolishness (absurdity and stupidity) with God, for it is written, He lays hold of the wise in their [own] craftiness; And again, The Lord knows the thoughts and reasonings of the [humanly] wise and recognizes how futile they are.” 1 Cor 3:18 – 20