What do you turn to for strength when times are hard? We know the church answer is God, but let’s take off the mask and be real with each other. When life is hard, I turn to food for comfort, books for wisdom, and myself for strength far more often than I look to God. The Bible calls that idolatry. Today you (and I) will see that to be still in hard times it is critical to know that God is your strength.
Do You Believe That God Is Your Strength?
There is a part of me that wants to shout that I absolutely believe that God is your strength. However, if I am honest I wrestle with believing God is my strength when life gets hard.
Why is it so difficult to always believe what we KNOW is true?
It’s tough because life gets hard and God is invisible. It’s challenging to trust an invisible God with problems I can see and feel and hear. If you are in that same struggle with me, you will be in good company as we look at Isaiah 41 today.
You’ll notice that I switched translations for today’s devotional on how to be still. So sorry, but I learned this in the KJV and just couldn’t wrap my mind around it any other way. #ChurchGirlProblems 😉
Israel Had Trust Issues
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’” Isaiah 41:10-13 (NKJV)
The book of Isaiah is filled with a lot of prophecies that blow my mind. God warned and pleaded with Israel to turn back to Him before it is too late. They do not and consequences follow because while God is love, He is also just.
Things to know about the context of Isaiah 41:10-13 before we begin:
- We serve a jealous God. He says worship only Him, and He really means that.
- Idolatry is defined as extreme admiration, love, or reverence for something or someone.
- Israel worshiped literal idols and expected them to give strength, provision, and comfort
- We worship idols too (read more about that here).
- An Idol is anything you look to for strength, provision, comfort, and support.
- God is as serious about idolatry today as He was then.
We Have Trust Issues
What we observe from Isaiah 41 is that we have a lot in common with Israel. Throughout the book, God is trying to convict Israel about the idolatry in their lives. He is also challenging their false gods to ‘step’ to Him. When none do, God comes back to reassure Israel that He is enough.
I can relate to Israel so much. It doesn’t matter how many times God proves Himself to me, I still find myself turning to the things of this world to fix my problems in hard times! Then God has to step in and prove Himself all over again to me.
The truth is:
- God is enough.
- Enough strength in hard times.
- God is always with you!
- You can count on His comfort and strength in every season of life.
What Do You Turn to for Strength When Times Are Hard?
I asked earlier, but I really want you to pause and answer. Don’t worry, I can’t hear you. Let this answer be between you and God.
When times are hard, God is showing me I turn to everything Him first. I hate it, but God is my last resort way too often.
- When the bills are due and the money is short I find things to sell or extra work before I offer up a prayer for strength.
- As we face conflict in marriage I turn to my friends (even Google) before I remember to be strong in the Lord through prayer and Bible study.
- When I feel hurt, lonely, or frustrated I eat to feel comfort.
How Do We Get Strength From God?
How do you stay strong in hard times? Not just strong, but strong in faith in the Lord!
Being strong is not about what you have in strength and courage personally. No, Isaiah 41 shows us that this is all about how strong God is.
Listen, friend, God is strong! And God is for you, on your side! You don’t have to ask God to be with you, He just is with you! You can trust Him in every season.
The Lord is my strength when I am weak, when life is hard, or when I can’t understand what is happening all around me.
How do we get His strength?
God’s strength comes by stepping out in faith rather than turning to yourself of idols for strength.
Related Post: How To Trust That God Is for You to Be Still & Not Fear
Stepping Out In Faith
God gives us strength when we step out in faith and often not a moment before. How then do you have the faith to step out in faith?
These are all the things we know we should be doing, but how often do we live consistently in these? I go through seasons of great faith and then seasons of less strength. I need the Lord’s strength but I don’t often do my part to walk in that strength!I absolutely believe that God is your strength. However, if I am honest I wrestle with believing God is my strength when life gets hard. Click To Tweet
What Bible Verse Says God Is My Strength?
Can we apply what God says about hard times in Isaiah 41:10-11 in a more personal way??
God says, “Fear not, for I am with you (in hard times)
I am your God (don’t look to others in time of need)
Yes, I will help you (in overwhelming times)
I will hold you up with my righteous right hand (in difficult times I won’t forget my covenant to you)”
“Behold, all those who were incensed against you (your enemies)
Shall be ashamed and disgraced (because I am fighting for you);
They shall be as nothing, And those who strive with you shall perish (becuase I always win).
You shall seek them and not find them—
Those who contended with you.
Those who war against you
Shall be as nothing,
As a nonexistent thing.
For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand (the right hand is another promise of God keeping the covenant even when we struggle to trust Him),
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ (another beautiful reminder to be still and not fear)” Isaiah 41:10-13 (emphasis mine)
Other God Is Your Strength Scriptures:
When I am struggling to believe the Lord is my strength, I open my bible to one of these, God is your strength Bible verses and it gives me hope. I know you will love these Bible verses about strength and growth!
- Psalm 91
- Psalm 23
- Philippians 4
- Psalm 27
- Psalm 31
- All of Isaiah 41
- Psalm 46
- Psalm 18
- Isaiah 40
- 1 Peter 5
- Psalm 28
- Psalm 29
- 2 Timothy 1
Related Post: Will You Trust That God Is With You When Life Is Hard?
What Is the Lord’s Strength?
Do you see what the Bible says about strength and courage?
They come from the Lord. Finding strength in difficult times is all about leaning into God instead of walking away from Him when difficult times come.
These God is my strength verses remind us to trust Him no matter what and be patient while we wait. We need patience in hard times because the answers God gives are not always our way or in our time. But He does answer and give us strength!
If you look up bible verses about strength in hard times you will see that they help bring the patience of God. God is so faithful to equip us with exactly what we need when we need it!
God’s Strength Is Dependable
As we see how to apply Isaiah 41:10-13 we see some beautiful truths about who God is.
- God is our strength
- The Lord is faithful
- God is jealous
Scripted repeatedly compares God to the groom and the church to the bride. God’s jealousy is like a husband requiring his wife to be a one-man-woman. We are to be a church that looks to God alone as the source of our strength.
Not only does God desire Christians (His bride) to be faithful to Him, He promises to be faithful to us. He promises that we can depend on Him in hard times and good times and all the rest.
I love that God know’s how hard faithfulness and trust are for us. The Lord isn’t beating us up over our struggle, but reminding us, nudging us, and calling us back to faithfulness.
The Lord Is Your Strength Even In Hard Times
Do you ever wonder why God allows difficult times?
I believe He allows difficult times to test our faith.
Hard times work like a refiner’s fire* to burn away all that is impure in us. I know this is controversial, but search Google for Bible verse on God testing us and you will see that it pops up many times.
When you see a God is your strength verse be sure you look at the context. Just like with the children of Israel in our passage today, God allowed hard times to come and then tells them to lean into His strength. Puzzling.
Does God Test Us?
Yes. We see so much testing of faith in the scriptures. God is continually putting us to a test to weed out our weaknesses and idolatry. He uses hard times to reveal the truth we ignore in our own hearts.
God Hates Idolatry
As we finish looking at Isaiah 41:10-13, I don’t want us to miss the point.
Israel was in the midst of a hard season of testing from God. Captive to the pagan nation of Babylon, Israel had to be very intentional not to fall into idolatry.
They had to look to God in time of need instead of following the example of the culture around them. So do we. Can you relate to how hard that is?
God calls Israel’s idols into question. An idol is anything you turn to for help or strength apart from God. For Israel, the idols were carved things but for us, they could be a job, food, a relationship, etc. God challenged those idols. Can they fight for Israel? Can they give Israel strength? The answer was no for them and it is still no for us.
So why do we turn to them to help us when life is hard? Why do we turn away from God, the one who can help us and damage that relationship for things that are worth nothing?
Idolatry Is Easier Than Faith
Has God shown you an Idol in your life?
My idols are food, entertainment, pride, self-reliance (just to name a few). God is in a season of stripping them away, showing me they can’t strengthen me, support me, provide for me or comfort me.
It’s hard to let go of idols because they are what the world turns to and I see the world seem happy all around me. It is easier to turn to idols than God when we forget why God is your strength!
Why God Is Your Strength
God is our strength not because we deserve His help but because He is faithful and trustworthy. God helps us because He said He would help us!
Remembering that God is faithful and will keep His covenant – the whole reason why God is your strength when you turn away from Him way too often – helps us learn to trust Him and be still.
When you choose to step out in faith and trust Him, God steps in to give you strength, help you, and hold you up with His righteous right hand.
God is faithful to His promises, even when we are not. His right hand reminds us that He will be faithful, because He can’t fail, lie or change. Trust Him and experience that strong helping hand today!
What is a good prayer for strength?
A Prayer to Trust That God Is Your Strength in Hard Times
I confess my idolatry to You. I have looked to other things for strength and comfort and that is a sin. Forgive me, Lord. God, please help me through this pain.
There are real things in my life that are just so hard and Lord I need You. I need You to be with me and remind me that You never leave me.
Please strengthen me and help me and show me where You already are so I can praise You for it. Thank you for your right hand of righteousness that will be faithful to me no matter how many times I wonder.
Forgive me for looking to other things for satisfaction. Keep me in Your strong arms as these storms come. And I will give you the praise and glory, forever
Will You Trust That God Is Your Strength in Hard Times?
We spend a lot of time looking for Bible verses about strength and healing, and Bible verses about strength and courage because life can be very hard at times. It is great to hide those verses in your heart as you walk through the trials. But even memorizing those verses didn’t help me until I began to step out in faith.
Stepping out in faith to trust God rather than depend on me was difficult. I wanted to turn to food and entertainment and extra work so badly. Honestly, there have been times I’ve fallen back to those things just like Israel did.
Idolatry calls to me. But God is faithful and when I fall down, He lifts me right back up with His righteous right hand. I am learning to trust Him. Will you take the first step toward trusting that God is your strength?
- Admit your trust issues
- Step out in faith
- Hide His word in your heart
- Remember God is dependable
- Expect testing times
- Deal with your idols
- Pray through it all
Where are you in the process? Will you take the next right step today?
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