“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” –Philippians 4:13
Recently, I’ve been studying to take the ACT. It is DIFFICULT. It didn’t take me too long to realize that I needed a lot of help. I’ve had several people give me different tips and show me how to do some of the problems, and it’s helped me a lot. But there is still one thing left that bothers me- I’m nervous about it. I think about how I might be distracted in the room or about being in a new place. I’ve told Daddy about it, and this was his reply: “Macy, who are you doing this for?” I thought about it for a second and then said, “I’m doing it to glorify God.” I don’t know how God is going to use the ACT in my life, but I can’t wait to find out!
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I love how it says that we can do ALL things- not just some things. In the MacArthur Study Bible, the notes for this verse say, “Paul uses a Greek verb that means ‘to be strong’ or ‘to have strength’. He had strength to withstand ‘all things’, including both difficulty and prosperity in the material world. The Greek word for strengthen means ‘to put power in’. Because believers are in Christ, He infuses them with His strength to sustain them until they receive some provision.” I love the picture it gives- “infuses them with His strength!” I can look at this test as something that is going to make me super nervous and that I’ll never make it, or I can look at it as a test that God is going to use to test me and see if I’ll lean on Him for strength through it.
Psalm 18:1-2 says, “I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” And later in the chapter, verse 31 says, “For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect.” We have a God Who arms us with strength and makes our way perfect! One of my family’s favorite football movies is “Facing the Giants.” In that movie, they talk about how if they win their game, they will praise God, and if they lose, they will still praise God. We need to praise God if we do well at something and if we don’t. God is so good that there will always be one thing that we can praise Him about, little or big.
In Psalm 18, verse 2, it mentions the Lord being our rock, our fortress, our deliverer, and also our stronghold. My sister and I have recently been studying World War II in history, and we have realized how much easier it was in the battle at Normandy for the ones shooting from the top of the hill than those who had to try to climb up the hill! Those trying to climb up had little to hide behind, maybe some big rocks or dead equipment. The devil wants to plant seeds of doubt in each of our minds. He wants us to doubt that God and only God can strengthen us. As we fight the sin of doubt in our uphill battle, the Lord is our rock…our safe place…our encouragement to get stronger…our deliverer! So, climb that hill and don’t be discouraged!
Here is one last verse from Psalm 18:
“As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” (Verse 30)
Trust in Him!