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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 07/11/18

Strength Conquers All

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STORY: I was THAT Gal

I love watching America Ninja Warrior and cheering on the contestants. I’m wowed by their strength and endurance. I live vicariously through the women who take on the course. I wonder what my nickname would be if I competed. I look at my muscles and like to think I’m strong. But I know I’m not that strong.

I flash back to school days. I was the gal teams picked last for dodgeball or other team sports. I was the gal who flunked trampoline because I didn’t want others laughing at me. I took an F on rope climbing too. I was that gal. Fear dominated my decisions. Fear of failure. Fear of injury. Fear of others teasing me.

Somewhere along the way, I learned the only failure is a failure to try. To try and fail is not to fail—it helps you learn your limitations and your strengths. Yes. This is true except for the America Ninja Warrior course. I don’t have to try the course to know it’s beyond my limitations. But I have my own warrior course. I work hard to gain strength physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I might not win on the American Ninja Warrior course, but I know God will strengthen me where it matters, through the course of life. Now I’m not Fear Gal, I’m God’s Grin Gal.

STUDY: Finding Strength in God

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 NLT)

  • As you read this passage, what emotional responses does it reveal?
  • What are the remedies for fear, discouragement, weakness, helplessness?
  • How does God’s presence make a difference?
  • How does God being your personal God make a difference? (See the word “your” in the verse. Your God.)
  • What will God’s strength and help do to get you through your day?
  • How does it feel to know your victorious God is using His dominant hand to hold you up? (And not like a robber holds up a bank!)

In his kindness, God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. (1 Peter 5:10 NLT)

  • What are the benefits of God’s kindness?
  • How long will suffering go on? How does that encourage you?
  • When God strengthens you, He places you where?
  • Do you think this verse means you will gain these benefits before death or when we join Him “in his eternal glory”? It’s possible to know the answer more fully by reading the context around this verse, and to also compare it with other biblical truths.

In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall. (2 Samuel 22:30 NLT)

  • This passage is like David’s fight song.
  • What can you do with God strengthening you?
  • What wall do you need to scale this week?

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. (Psalm 28:7 NLT)

  • How does God being your shield fit with Him being your strength?
  • Several verses dealing with strength from God also mention trust. How does trusting God with all your heart help you? What is an end result of trusting God and receiving His help?

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 40:31 NLT)

  • This passage is probably the most popular verse regarding strength. What makes it the go-to verse on the subject?
  • What is the requirement to receive the benefits mentioned here?
  • Why do you think the word “new” precedes the word strength in this verse?  Other Bible versions use these words: fresh strength or renewed strength.

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. (1 Peter 4:10-11 NLT)

  • This passage encourages us to use the spiritual gifts given to us from God. There are a variety of gifts, all designed to help us serve one another. What spiritual gift has God given you?
  • When we help others, why do we need to be willing to invest all our strength and energy into serving? Keep in mind God is the supplier of our strength and energy, so there is an endless supply of it—enough to do the work God leads us to do.
  • How can we make sure everything we do brings glory to God?
  • If our motive isn’t to glorify God, how can we mess up the assignments we receive from Him?

STEPS: With God’s Strength I Can

  1. Trust in the Lord. I will trust in the Lord this week more fully by_______.
  2. Reverse fear and discouragement. I will seek God’s presence by _______.
  3. Find new strength. I will _______.

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