1 Corinthians 16.13-14
“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”
We live in difficult, challenging times. In the years to come, it is likely to get even more difficult and more challenging. Are you prepared? Do you have the strength and stamina to face the demands of life and work in a world that is caught in the grips of a descending culture?
As we saw last week, this passage admonishes us to “act like men.” It is a call to be spiritually mature. It is a call to do what grownups do. It is a call to act like an adult, not a child. The behavior of children is impulsive, impetuous, and immature. This is a timely message, as it seems that our nation is awash in a flood of childish behavior.
As Paul says, an adult is strong. An adult does what is right, especially when it is difficult. The Lord calls us to be strong when it counts. How you respond is most important when the situation is most difficult. When you face a challenge, be an adult and step up. Don’t flinch. Respond with the courage and strength that is found in Jesus.
“Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” (Ephesians 6:10)
Don’t be surprised when the storm hits; be prepared. If you aren’t prepared, you will be constantly caught off guard, stressed, and unable to live and work as God intended. You will not experience the power and the peace the Lord provides.
“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” (Proverbs 24.10)
In the middle of trouble, people will run somewhere for refuge. There are many pseudo-sanctuaries where people tend to hide from adversity: some run to another person, some to entertainment, a substance, food, complaining and blaming, etc.. These are counterfeits, and only provide the illusion of safety. None of them can provide real and lasting shelter, so putting hope in them only adds disappointment and stress to the trouble that people are already experiencing.
Being a follower of Jesus means recognizing and trusting in the Lord as the true Source of protection, rest, and strength in the midst of the storm. Strength is found in the Lord. He is the shelter.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me … The Lord is the strength of his people.” (Psalm 28.7-8)
“O Lord my God, in you do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers and deliver me.” (Psalm 7.1)
“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:29-31)
The Lord calls you to Himself, and he seeks to make you strong in the midst of the storm. He does not want you to faint on the day of adversity. Trust God and His strength. Act like an adult. Be strong. The storms are coming.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
Be strong! The Lord is calling.