“A wise man is strong, and a man of knowledge increases power.”
– Proverbs 24:5 NASB
How do we become strong? In physical terms, the body becomes stronger through exercise and the development of muscles. Nations gain strength by expanding their resources and developing their economic and military might. But there are other types of strength.
The Bible tells us that “a wise man is strong.” The principle here is that real strength is a by-product of God’s wisdom. Why? Because those who have Godly wisdom are given a power beyond their natural abilities. They have strength of character, which comes from resolve, determination, faith, and convictions.
The Hebrew words used in this passage suggest that strength comes from having skills and then developing these skills; from being experienced and intelligent; to be so equipped that we can face challenges and persevere in the face of obstacles; and seeking God’s discernment so we are able to make wise decisions.
In a similar way, if we want to increase in “power,” the Bible tells us we should be a person “of knowledge.” Physical strength and prowess have certain advantages, but the Bible continually reminds of the importance of spiritual strength. This means being filled with the Spirit, surrendering to the lordship of Jesus, and basing our lives on God’s Word.
But we also are warned, “If you fall under pressure, your strength is too small” (v. 10 NLT). This implies being ready for the pressure situations we all face from time to time. We must be armed, prepared, and equipped—ready for spiritual attacks and knowing how to respond.
The Bible also reminds us that, in ourselves, we are weak. As Paul taught, we should realize that “when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). Real strength comes from reliance on God.
Do you face challenges in your life? Remember to seek God’s wisdom. Ask Him for His perspective on the issues you face. And remember to depend on Him, knowing that He is with you. Regardless of the problems you face, you can trust Him.
This post about strength in God is an updated post that originally occurred in February, 2008. In light of current events in our country, I’m re-posting this in hope that the content might help you.
During such tumultuous times as we are in today in the United States – with the economy and the government shutdown – we are looking for strength and resolve. Life can be a challenge, but in times where our nation is in an upheaval, the stressors can be especially difficult to handle.
Maybe you don’t know how to apply the new Health Care law to your life. Perhaps you’ve made plans to visit a national park and now find that it’s closed for business. Maybe you’re a Baby Boomer and you’ve just entered into retirement. Could be that you’re making a major transition in your life.
Are you weak? Stressed? Battling depression? Do you need more energy to run this race of life that you’re in? Is your strength depleted? God can help. Fortunately, our Creator gives us many scriptures that relate to how we can have strength in God. A verse about strength that is very familiar to many people is below.
“He (God) gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak…. But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength“ Isaiah 40:28-31
That’s one of this weeks scripture about strength. What a reassuring message! Life can make us weary and challenging… it can deplete us from the strength we need to get out of bed and do the things we are required to do. Yes, we can work out by lifting weights and taking our fitness walk. Those activities can provide us a level of fitness that enable our bodies to function physically, yet we also need additional inner strength to be able to function well. Since our mind, body and spirit are interconnected, how we feel spiritually or emotionally can effect or physical energy level. That’s where God can help.
A meaningful and personal relationship with God can give us inner energy and strength that can sustain us. Engaging in spiritual exercises like prayer, reading the Bible and abiding in God’s presence can help us tap into special power that only God can provide. When we are alone with God… when we “wait” on him, we are able to receive his strength. When we believe and trust what we read in scripture and in how God works, our hope is bolstered. This strong belief and hope, grounded in scripture, can give us strength. It’s the same strength that the Psalmist writes about in Psalm 138:3 when he says “As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.”
There is another key biblical principle to consider regarding strength. In his writings, Paul reminds us how we can be strong when we are weak. This might seem like an oxymoron but because it’s biblical, it’s true. When we are dependent upon God, when we surrender to him, when we rely on him and ask Jesus to live his life through us, we’re actually living by his power and strength. You see, if we try to be strong in our own might, we don’t give God the opportunity to use his strength as he lives through us.
“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10
So, I’ll ask the questions again – Are you weak? Is your strength depleted? Do you need more energy and power to run your race? Curl up on a couch or your recliner or drop to your knees and spend some one-on-one time with God. open up your Bible and read some of the scriptures about on the lists I’ve provided below. Get to know Him better and see if He doesn’t bring you more inner strength.