Tag Archives: Strength

Throwback Thursday: From Scars to Strength

FROM SCARS TO STRENGTH

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,

For in you do I trust?

Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.

Psalm 143:8 NKJV

If King David was alive today, he may be diagnosed with clinical depression. We can safely agree that he had more than his share of heartache. His child with Bathsheba died a few days after birth. One son raped his sister. Another rebelled against David and he was finally killed. David spent time many nights in caves hiding from King Saul. David’s brothers mocked him, and his father never once considered that David could possibly be king. This man after God’s own heart was not spared from deep emotional distress, and neither are we.

Can you relate to David’s cry in verse 7? “My spirit fails!”? His spirit was overwhelmed and his

heart distressed (Ps. 143:4).

You may struggle with depression or other health issues. Your bank account may be broke. Your child has strayed. Your loved ones have passed. You are caring for aging parents and their health needs. It can be a myriad of circumstances, but the result is brokenness.

This shattered life greets you each morning with a reminder that this nightmare is a reality. The pain you hide eludes peace and joy. The enemy succeeds as you doubt God. Doubt your salvation. Doubt your spirituality.

May I suggest that David’s heartache made him a mighty warrior and a great king? His scars became his strengths. Jesus Christ bears the scars in His hands, from the nails that pierced Him. He puts our crumbling lives back together. Your scars from today will be your strengths for tomorrow. Trust God, as David did. Never allow the enemy, whether human or spirit, to cause you to feel shame over your turmoil. One day, it will be a memory and you will be a more powerful Christian because of it.

Heavenly Father, Hear our cries, soothe our broken hearts, and mend us as You comfort our overwhelmed souls. Thank You though we may fall apart, You continue to put us back together better than ever. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Psalm 143.

HIKING THE TRAIL

It is in our weakest moments when God is glorified. Never consider yourself any less spiritual in those seasons. God is glorified through it.

 

Copyright 2016 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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Tamper Resistent Joy

Tamper Resistant Joy

By Carolyn Dale Newell

…Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b NKJV

Imprisoned and chained to a guard, Paul wrote several of his epistles, including the “joy epistle” of Philippians. How could Paul rejoice when he could no longer plant churches and preach the gospel as he did on his missionary journeys?

Paul believed God’s promise in our focal verse: the joy of the Lord is our strength. Paul lived Christ

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21 NKJV)

In the original Greek text, the verb “is” is absent. So, Paul lived Christ. Paul’s enemies had meant this for evil, but God had meant it for good. Paul recognized that, and he rejoiced.

The enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy our joy. Nothing would please him better than to see grimacing Christians. He has no authority over God’s children. When Satan cannot deceive us into temptation, one of his plots involves zapping our joy. Sadly, we allow him.

That’s right. We fall for his trickery, and the devil knows better than most Christians that the joy of the Lord is our strength. He steals our joy and leaves us weak.

But we are not without hope. We can turn our faces toward the Son and away from our circumstances. Away from the depression, the loneliness, the pain, anxieties, the season we find ourselves in. We don’t find joy in those situations, but when we face Jesus, we see joy, for Jesus is joy.

We live in a topsy-turvy world, and sometimes life must get more confusing to get us right side up. We allow circumstances to dictate our emotional thermometers rather than trusting our sovereign Lord. Sweet friend, we are measuring the wrong thing (topsy-turvy). God allows things, painful things, into our lives to turn us right side up.

We can get our joy back when we live Christ as Paul did. When we commit to praise God no matter what, we will find strength through joy. When we can look at our messy lives and know Jesus loves us. When we look through joy colored glasses, we are made strong.

Christmas can either be depressing or joyful. In order to have a tamper-resistant joyful Christmas, look to the Baby in the manger. He is now our King and has been granted authority over all things. Joy doesn’t erase the hurt, but It delivers strength to cope with it. Joy isn’t found in friends, family, or feasting. Not genuine joy. That joy exists only in Jesus.

Heavenly Father, help us turn our faces toward Jesus this season. Easier said than done, but with You all things are possible. Thank You for the joy You will bring many who would be sad and alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Philippians 1: 12-26.

HIKING THE TRAIL

What is one attitude you can adopt this Christmas season to see joy amidst your situation? How can you help someone else who struggles at this time of the year?

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.