Tag Archives: strength

Even though _______________, I will have joy!

Is life challenging for you today?  Not necessarily in a bad way.  Life can feel heavy whether we are facing unfortunate things or really great things.

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The Lord recently led me to this passage during our church staff prayer time.  At the time it seemed kind of random.  Then it appeared again two days later in a devotional book I had not picked up in a while.  I’ve learned over the years that when things like that happen it’s more likely to be God trying to get our attention than simply irony.  So I felt I should write about it.

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!     – Habakkuk 3:17-19  (NLT)

Do you see how many times the author says, “Even though?”   3 times.

Even though (insert negative situation)….YET I will rejoice in the Lord!

I wanted to share mine with you today.

“Even though God is calling me to something overwhelming…..”

“Even though I find myself falling short at home, work, and in my health…..”

“Even though despite my best efforts, I cannot seem to get caught up…..”

In the midst of all that, YET I WILL REJOICE!

I’m sharing this to be authentic, hoping it might encourage others.  Now it’s your turn.  Take a minute to complete 3 of these for your self.  “Even though __________________________

So…if you are feeling overwhelmed by either horrible or great things today, let me encourage you.  Our God is our strength!  Period.  End of story.  Our circumstances are always changing.  God, however, does not.

Leave me a comment below.

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Don’t stop moving!

When I was in High School, I took this special class called ‘Reading, Writing, and Running.’  The name pretty much sums it up.  For the first thirty minutes the class would leave the school campus and run.  We would run different routes assigned each day, averaging anywhere from 4-7 miles.  When we returned to class we would spend the remainder of the class reading magazine articles related to running, and then journaling about our running experience that day.  To be completely honest, I signed up for the class because of its apparent lack of academic demand.  What I didn’t think about was the amount running….and I’m not a runner.  I hated that class.

It was hot and sunny one day, and I remember getting overly exhausted very quickly.  I would run for 5 or 6 minutes,  lay down on the ground, and try to catch my breath until I could get back up and begin running again.  I continued this cycle a few times until the teacher noticed me during the motionless ‘ground’ portion of my cycle.  He said something to me that has stuck with me over the years.  “When you feel like you need a break from the pace you are running, DON’T STOP MOVING!”  He said, “Just slow down to a moderate walk.  This keeps you from cramping up and maintains your heart rate until you are ready to run again.”

On a physical level, this really helped to improve my stamina.  In recent years I’ve come to realize this timeless nugget of wisdom also applies to our spiritual stamina.  In those times that we find ourselves completely drained from volunteering, dealing with life’s unpleasant speed bumps, or even flying Mach 2 on the wings of happiness….we can come to a point of exhaustion in which all we can think to do is stop and drop everything.  When this happens, keep moving!  Don’t get me wrong.  Take time to pause, evaluate, and pray.  But refrain from giving up.  Slow your pace down and spend some time in God’s Word.  His Spirit will give you your breath back.  You will have the strength to endure.

Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion.  But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.  They will soar high on wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary. 
They will walk and not faint.     Isaiah 40:30-31  (NLT)

Are you current lying in the grass, sweating profusely and trying to catch your breath?  What would it take for you to get up and just begin a slow, upright movement forward this week?

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