Every new year should be like a new step on a stairway, lifting our feet a little higher. We ought not to live any two years on the same plane. To be content with any attainment for even two days is not living at our best.
But many Christians grow faint and weary in their tasks and duties. Routine is intensely wearisome. Tasks are large and demanding, life is dreary in its monotony, and work often seems to be in vain. We sow, and do not reap. We find disappointment and discouragement at many points. Hopes that are bright today lie like withered flowers tomorrow. Life seems full of illusions. Youth has its brilliant dreams which come to nothing. Work is hard.
The price of success in any business is the losing of self in toil and sacrifice. We must wear ourselves out if we wish to do good. However, we can be strong! God has strength for us! But how does His strength come to us?
One way is through the words of Scripture. We are in sorrow; and when we open our Bibles, we read the assurance of Divine love, the promise of Divine help and comfort. We read that God is our Father, that our sorrow is full of blessing, and that all things work together for good to His children. As we read, and believe what we read, and receive it as all for us; there comes into the soul a new strength, a strange calmness, and a holy peace – and we are immediately comforted.
Some days we are discouraged, overworked, vexed by cares, fretted by life’s myriad distractions, and weary and faint from much burden-bearing. But when we sit down with our Bible, God communicates with us in words of cheer:
“Let not your heart be troubled.”
“Fear not, for I am with you.”
“Cast your burden upon the Lord.”
“Peace I leave with you.”
“My grace is sufficient for you.”
And as we ponder these words, the weariness is gone; we feel that we are growing strong; hope revives, and courage returns. One who reads the Bible as God’s own Word and hears God’s voice in its promises, assurances, commands, and counsels – that person is continually strengthened by it.
But there is something even better than this. God is a real Person, and He comes into our lives with all His own love and grace. The prophet tells us this: “He gives power to the faint; to him who has no might, he increases strength.” This means nothing less than that there is a direct importation of Divine strength for God’s fainting and weary ones on the earth. This is a wonderful revelation! It tells us that the very power of Christ is given to us in our weakness, passed on from His fullness into our emptiness.
A friend may stand by us in our trouble and he may make us a little stronger by his sympathy, love, encouragement, and cheer; but he cannot put any portion of his strength or joy into our heart. Christ, however, gives us strength, and imparts His own life! What the vine is to its branch, Christ is to us. He gives power to the faint. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. The greater our need, the more of Christ’s grace will come to us.
How can we make sure of receiving this promised strength? The answer is this: “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” What is it to wait upon the Lord? It means to trust God patiently, to believe in His love, to accept His guidance, to keep near to His heart, and to live in unbroken fellowship with Him – leaning upon His arm, and drawing help from him. As we wait upon God and abide in Christ, keeping our fellowship with Him unbroken; His strength flows into our lives, according to our needs.
We need to be always strong – strong in purpose; strong to meet temptation; strong for work; strong for holy living; strong in the bearing of sorrow; strong in our influence among other people. We need to walk upright and unwearied along life’s paths, as worthy followers of Jesus. His call to us is, “Be strong!” But He never gives us a duty without also giving us the needed strength to do it. He never lays on us a burden without also sustaining us under it. He never sends a sorrow without also sending the comfort to meet it. He never calls to any service without also providing for its performance. We only need to be sure that we wait upon God; and then all the strength that we need will be given to us, as we go on, day by day.
God bless you and your family, this day and always.
All for our King’s glory,
photo by Neely Wang | Lightstock.com
This post is another installment of Miller’s Monday Musings, a weekly series that is published every Monday on my website. The series features selected writings that have been adapted from the works of James Russell Miller (1840-1912), a much-beloved Christian author and pastor who is well-remembered for his practical thoughts on Christian home and family life. Learn more about this weekly series by clicking here.