Strength and Courage

Psalm 27: 14

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.
This is certainly a good verse for teaching about waiting on the Lord. I was really intrigued, though, over the line, “let your heart take courage.” I see in those words that we must make a decision to be encouraged. We have to decide to let our hearts fill with encouragement. You can choose to be discouraged or you can choose to be encouraged. Perhaps it takes strength to allow yourself to stand in courage instead of living in discouragement because David tells us to be strong. Certainly, in waiting on the Lord, you must decide to “faint not.” That means, don’t give up. Don’t give up on God or let your faith founder while you are waiting. Waiting in faith does take backbone. You have to decide to stand regardless of the appearance of the situation around you. You must decide to keep on confessing words of faith even when the circumstances appear bleak. You have to decide to let your heart be filled with courage. You can even learn to encourage yourself when you don’t have an encourager to do it for you. You purposefully decide to be of good courage. You purposefully decide to believe God and his word instead of letting your heart fall into discouragement. If you have felt discouragement lately, take heart; be of good courage because now you know that you can affect the condition of your heart. Allow yourself to be encouraged. Allow your heart to be filled with courage. The Word of God is the best encourager there is. Get in there and let your heart be full of the encouragement of the Lord.

No Weariness Here

Isaiah 40: 28     (paraphrase)                               Index Card 7

I do not faint or grow weary, or tired.

This is a good word that most of us need to hear weekly if not daily. Our strength really isn’t in our bones and muscle. It is in our interconnectedness with the Lord. When I am in Him, I am strong. When I rely on my own strength I get run down and bone tired. That makes me think that if I am complaining about being tired, it is probably a good indication that I am relying on my strength rather than the Lord’s.

The slogan for Ivey Ministries is “Intertwined with Jesus”. The image in my mind is of an Ivy vine being inexorably intertwined with Jesus so that you cannot separate the two. The Lord, our God, showed me this while pondering Isaiah 40: 31 which reads, “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” The word “wait” in that passage means to become intertwined with. The fruit of becoming intertwined with Jesus is much more expansive than in this context alone but here is our promise of physical strength and vitality. You know, when Moses was one hundred and twenty years old the scripture says of him, “his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated” (Deuteronomy 34: 7).

There is one other thing I would like to point out about this passage. If you look it up you will find that I have paraphrased it rather than quoting it. Remember, I am taking these from my index cards. So, what I have done here is make this personal. This is a personal promise from God to me. Father never grows weary, tired or faints and since we are inextricably intertwined, I don’t either. No weariness here!