“Strength is not something you have, it’s something you find.” – Emma Smith
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
Our lives are surrounded by a form of beauty and mystery that often goes unnoticed – clouded by circumstances and events that weaken our focus and drain our resolve. Life’s difficulties have a way of distracting us – making us weary, tired, and hopeless more often than we are feel joy, peace, and assurance.
It’s hard to be joyful when facing sickness and disease. Where is there strength in lack – in the empty bank account, the strained relationship, or the aimless profession that lacks purpose? When our lives turn out to be the exact opposite of all we hoped or dreamed for, where can we find the strength to keep moving forward or the joyful disposition it takes to see the beauty and mystery I mentioned earlier?
If life has you feeling diluted, powerless, and exhausted right now, start by embracing the quote above from Emma Smith. If you’re searching for inner strength to persevere, realize it’s something you don’t possess. Strength isn’t something you personally conjure up. It’s something you find.
Marcus Aurelius suggests that finding strength begins by taking control of your thoughts – accepting the fact that most of what happens to us in life is far outside of our control. What we CAN control is what we CHOOSE to dwell on. George Moore once said, “The difficulty in life is the choice.”
So where can strength be found in what we choose to think about – what we choose to focus our minds and hearts upon?
I found this verse in Nehemiah today and I want to share it with you:
“Don’t be dejected or sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” – Nehemiah 8:10 NLT
How can strength to face life’s challenges be found in “the joy of the Lord”? What does that mean? How can we channel our thoughts to find this strength that humans cannot possess on their own?
The choice to concentrate on who God is, what He represents, His character, His love, His power, and His purposes – this is where enduring strength is found and where ultimate joy resides.
In the midst of terminal disease or incapacitating disability, we can find strength in a God who heals (Exodus 15:26) and who provides us with eternal life in the ages to come (Revelation 21:4).
In our uncertainties, He is our wisdom (James 1:5) and our guidance (Proverbs 3: 5-6). When all hope is lost, He is our comfort (2 Corinthians 1: 3-4), our help (Psalm 121: 1-2) and our future (Jeremiah 29:11).
He is our strength when we have none left (Isaiah 41:10), our justice when all things seem unjust (Isaiah 30:18), and our vindicator when we or others have failed us (Romans 12:19 and Deuteronomy 32:36).
He is our stability when all things in life are shaky (Psalm 18:2) and is always present – especially in moments that we feel alone and afraid (Psalm 46:1).
He fills us when we are empty (Psalm 81:10), provides us with new mercies everyday (Lamentations 3:22-23), and gives us the grace we need when we need it most (2 Corinthians 12:9, Hebrews 4:16, and Ephesians 2:8)
He is our source of unconditional love (Romans 8:38-39) and is continually working out all things within our lives for our ultimate benefit (Romans 8:28).
He upholds and sustains our lives (Isaiah 46:4 and Psalm 55:22), bears our burdens daily (Psalm 68:19), and provides us with a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4: 6-7 and Isaiah 26:3).
Can you see the JOY found in contemplating all God is and what He stands for? Can you see that strength can only be FOUND in Him?
I hope today you CHOOSE to control the only thing in life you are capable of controlling – your thoughts. I hope you choose to channel those thoughts on the JOY OF THE LORD – seeing and embracing all He is and all He stands for!
You will FIND THE STRENGTH you need when you do – realizing it can only be found in Him. Stop striving to develop it on your own or to find it in other people or circumstances.
He is your strength to overcome all things my friend 😊