Be Strong in The Lord!


Background:

Josh, Ashlyn and Sawyer Joshua Murphy

Josh, Ashlyn and Sawyer Joshua Murphy

Our granddaughter, Ashlyn, and her husband Josh are the proud parents of their first baby boy … Sawyer Joshua Murphy, born on Thursday, May 9, 2013. Sawyer was born with a rare and serious heart condition known as Tetralogy of Fallot which is further complicated by an Absent Pulmonary Valve (APVS) between the heart and lungs. Sawyer’s condition will require that he undergo multiple surgeries over his lifetime, the first of which is scheduled for Monday/Tuesday, May 20/21, 2013. Thousands know of the story of “Baby Murphy” through Ashlyn’s blog, The Murphy Family and are praying for Sawyer and his parents as they face some really tough days ahead.

As a grandfather and great-grandfather my heart is filled with compassion for Ashlyn, Josh and especially for little Sawyer. My wife and I are in a constant state of prayer for them, their parents, and the medical team. Yes, we know full well that God is in control of the situation and already knows of the outcome. We are assured that God knows, God cares and God will provide! Our God is strong and mighty! He is up to the battle. He knows and wants what is best for Sawyer. The strength to face the uncertain days ahead for Ashlyn and Josh and the rest of their extended family will come from our faith in one all-powerful source: The Lord God Almighty!

Scripture:

Ephesians 6:10 – Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Psalm 28:6-8 – 6 Blessed be the LORD, because he has heard the voice of my supplications. 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoices; and with my song will I praise him. 9 The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.

Discussion:

In Ephesians 6:10 Paul encouraged the Christians at Ephesus when facing difficult circumstances to “… be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Christians are to put on the full armor of God (see the full text of Paul’s message at Ephesians 6:10-18) and not depend upon themselves. Trusting in your own strength to overcome adversity is useless. God has equipped the Christian with His strong battle-ready gear (the breastplate of righteousness … feet fitted for readiness that comes from the gospel of peace … the shield of faith … the helmet of salvation … the sword of the Spirit) entirely suitable for battle against any foe including sickness and even death.

The Bible teaches that only God’s grace is sufficient to overcome our weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties. Paul communicated to the church at Corinth what seems to the non-Christian to be foolishness when he wrote without equivocation: “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.Paul realized that trusting only in his humanness, he was hopelessly weak. But with the strength of Almighty Jehovah God, Paul was strong. That is a lesson for each of us. Christian, when you are in tough circumstances and unable to rely on your own strength to see you through, then turn to God! At your weakest, God is at His strongest! He will see you through the dark valleys and lead you back to the mountain top.

Trusting in God’s strength to see you through small trials and even through great challenges and difficulties brings great comfort. David wrote of his joy of trusting in the strength of the Lord in Psalm 28:6-8: 6 Blessed be the LORD, because he has heard the voice of my supplications. 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoices; and with my song will I praise him. 9 The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.”

Reflection:

One of the first songs I learned as a child was “Jesus Loves Me.”  It was a staple in our Sunday School classes when I was a “Beginner” … now called a “preschooler.”  The lyrics of first verse of the children’s hymn still ring true in my heart:

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.

Sawyer is one of those “little ones.”  Sawyer has an earthly Mom and Dad, but Sawyer ultimately belongs to Jesus.  Sawyer might be weak physically because of his heart condition, but he is strong, just like Paul was strong, because Jesus is strong.

Linda Lee Johnson is the author of a wonderful Christian hymn, “Be Strong in the Lord.”  Our church often sings this song during our worship services and it always (ALWAYS!) lifts me up to the throne of God.  I am reminded that I have every reason to “Be Strong in The Lord.”

Be Strong in The Lord

(by Linda Lee Johnson ©1979 Hope Publishing Company ARR, UBP)

1 Be strong in the Lord, and be of good courage;
your mighty Defender is always the same.
Mount up with wings, as the eagle ascending;
victory is sure when you call on his name.

Refrain:

Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord,
and be of good courage for he is your guide.
Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord,
and rejoice for the victory is yours.

2 So put on the armor the Lord has provided,
and place your defense in his unfailing care.
Trust him for he will be with you in battle,
lighting your path to avoid every snare.

[Refrain]

3 Be strong in the Lord, and be of good courage,
your mighty Commander will vanquish the foe.
Fear not the battle for the victory is always his;
he will protect you where ever you go.

[Refrain]

Sawyer Joshua Murphy, A Warrior in the Army of Jesus!

Sawyer Joshua Murphy, A Warrior in the Army of Jesus!

Sawyer, Ashlyn and Josh are in a battle!  The mighty Commander will vanquish the foe!  The victory is ALWAYS God’s!  God is Strong!  Sawyer, Ashlyn and Josh are strong because God is Strong!    To God be the Glory!

You, too, can Be Strong in The Lord.  The first step toward receiving His strength is to Become A Christian.

Other Scriptures Related to this Topic:

Psalm 18:2 – The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 59:17 – You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.

Psalm 112:7 – They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.

Isaiah 12:2 – Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

Habakkuk 3:19 – The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.

2 Samuel 22:33 – God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.

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About jimdavenport

Jim Davenport resides in the USA in Northeast Georgia, is a member of a Southern Baptist Church and is a retired Christian business man. Jim and his wife Charlotte have one son and daughter in law, Keven and Amy, four grandchildren - Ashlyn (Davenport) & Josh Murphy, and Mason & Rebecca Davenport. We have three great-grandchildren, Rhory Camile Murphy, Rhett Levi Murphy and Sawyer Joshua Murphy. Jim and Charlotte own a mountain get-away home located on Lookout Mountain in Alabama where they spend many spring, summer and fall days working in their raised bed organic garden. Jim has served as a Deacon and Trustee in his local church most of his adult life and on the Executive Committee and Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees of Shorter University, an intentionally Christian institution located in Rome, Georgia. Jim has a passion for the word of God and has always believed that Christian principles should guide every aspect of his life. He also loves Christian music and often served as a tenor soloist in his church. One of the highlights of his life was the nearly 20 years he spent singing with The Good News, a Southern Gospel quartet. Jim served as an Information Technology professional his entire working career of 50 years holding senior positions in and consulting with hundreds of world-class organizations in the United States, Canada, Europe, Central and South America, Australia and New Zealand. Jim remains as President and CEO of InfoSys Solutions Associates, Inc. and is a retired partner of IT Governance Partners, LLC, both of which are “Trusted Advisor” technology and business consulting firms. Jim has authored a number of books available at www.jimdavenport.me/jims-books. His blog has ben read by readers from more than 170 countries. Jim holds both a BS and an MS in Mathematics from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia and completed Management Development Training at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
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4 Responses to Be Strong in The Lord!

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