Even Jesus got worn out by life. Here are just a few of His challenges: His disciples and their lack of faith. The hard heartedness of the religious leaders. Watching people suffer. Being overwhelmed with the condition of the human heart. These were all reasons He consistently went to find a quiet place to recharge – in the heart of His Father. Consider this promise:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.” – Matthew 11:28/M
God is a Giver of strength to His sons and daughters.
His Spirit leads us in His strength.
There are many religions. All religions let us down, even historic Christianity. Promises which cannot be kept. Unsubstantiated claims resulting in disappointment. Personal pain and realities fighting against our hopes and dreams.
Take, for example, the religion of me. Everything in our world indicates that WE are the answer to the deepest needs of our hearts. Possessing the right things, enjoying the esteem of others, doing something significant, evolving to the next level. This is true of atheism, secular-humanism, the historic religions of the world, and also permeates christianity.
But above all of this is the God Story. Despite epic misrepresentations throughout history, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. In fact:
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who had such hopes were not satisfied.” – Hebrews 13:8-9
Our hearts can be strengthened by grace!
The Son has always existed – before the foundations of the world and from eternity! This is God Who can provide deepest strength to meet us when we are weary.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Wow. – Colossians 1:15-17
One of the great threads of the God Story concerns the strength of God imparted and available to men and women everywhere. Check these out/what do you learn about strength from each part of this encouraging thread? (there are MANY others).
Exodus 15:2 (song of Moses)
1 Kings 19:8 (Elijah heading for the mountain)
1 Chronicles 16:10, 11 (the ark of His presence)
Nehemiah 8:10 (when the returned people were opposed)
Psalm 20:6 (the Psalms are loaded with strength)
Psalm 28:7 (for David the king)
Isaiah 12:2-6 (strength from a thankful heart)
Isaiah 40:26, 31 (our Great God – top to bottom!)
Micah 5:4 (this Deliverer is OUR Shepherd!)
Mark 12:30 (Love for God IS our strength)
Ephesians 6:10 (His might is available to us)
1 Peter 4:11 (we speak and serve in the strength of God)
We have learned to count on new strength!
Dave & Burnadette (Did we mention Isaiah 40:31?!)