Years ago, when I had an appointment to go to that I was dreading, the Lord gave me a Scripture that encourages me to this day. It’s Psalm 71:16 (NKJV), which says, “I will go in the strength of the Lord God.” I’ve discovered that when I declare this verse, trusting the Lord to strengthen and empower me, He is faithful to provide me with everything I need to persevere and prevail.
I’ve also discovered that it’s important for me to cooperate with God to prepare myself properly for stressful appointments and events. I do that by confessing my fears and anxieties to the Lord, and praying in advance for His help. The psalmist declared, “I am too distressed even to pray!” (Psalm 77:4 NLT) Often, that’s exactly how I feel, too, once I’m in the midst of a stressful situation. Then, my prayers are not as focused, and my thinking is often scattered.
I always ask the Lord for a favorable outcome, and I ask Him for the desires of my heart. I also say things like, “Lord, I’m trusting You to make this appointment go well for me.” Or, “I’m expecting You to work mightily on my behalf.” I’ve learned that God will do things for us when we pray, that He won’t do for us when we don’t pray.
The next time you are facing something that fills you with fear and dread, make your mind up to “go in the strength of the Lord God,” and to cooperate with Him for your victory and success!
The other day, my husband, Joe, spent the entire afternoon outdoors cleaning our duck pond, mowing the lawn, and tidying up our shed. When he came back indoors, he exclaimed, “I’m exhausted and can hardly move!” I had been cleaning house all day myself, so I had a pretty good idea of how he felt. Nevertheless, I told my husband that Scripture tells us, “Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’” (Joel 3:10 NKJV) Joe laughed it off, but I told him that if he continued to voice his exhaustion and weakness—guess what?—he was going to feel more and more tired all the time, and he wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything for the rest of the day.
The prophet Isaiah received some startling revelation on this subject that has been encouraging God’s people for centuries. He wrote: “[The Lord] gives power to those who are tired and worn out; He offers strength to the weak.” (Isaiah 40:29 NLT) When you and I have reached our apparent limits, we can remind ourselves that God offers us His supernatural power and strength. But we have to ask Him for it, and receive it by faith. We can simply say: “Lord, I’m feeling tired, weary, and worn out right now. But I thank You for Your offer to revive me. I ask that You fill me afresh with Your power and Your strength. I believe I receive them right now, Lord, and I give You all the praise, in Jesus’ name!” Then, go about your business, and declare with confidence, “I am strong in the Lord!” (Ephesians 6:10)
With the Holy Spirit dwelling in you and me, and with God’s Word and promises stored in our hearts, we have access to heavenly resources in trying times that will enable us to live fruitful, productive, and energetic lives. Don’t settle for less than God’s very best in this area. Rise up and walk in the victory that belongs to you in Christ!