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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 06/27/18

A Strong Song

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STORY: Song Theology

A popular song a few years back sings, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Sometimes when I’m going through tough stuff, I sing that line to myself. Maybe you’ve caught yourself doing the same thing. But after reading Scripture and thinking about times when I didn’t grow from an experience, I started to rethink the concept.

I looked up the background, and discovered the quote was first coined by German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche. His exact wording: “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” To see if he speaks truth, we have to check it with the truth of the Bible, and also the truth of Christian experience.

I surveyed my Facebook friends to see if they agreed with the concept, and they all had different views. Here’s what I’ve decided:

  • When we go through difficult experiences, we have a choice if we will merely get through it, or if we will grow from it. Sometimes we learn. Sometimes we lean. Sometimes we lose.
  • We have the opportunity to go through trials alone, or choose to welcome God’s presence to strengthen us, and His people to support us.
  • Some trials leave us feeling wounded, battle weary, and empty. What do we do with that?

Today’s Bible study shows us how we can be strengthened—it’s not through a struggle, it’s through a Savior.

STUDY: The Lord is My Strength and Song

The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him — my father’s God, and I will exalt him! (Exodus 15:2 NLT)

  • This would be a great verse to memorize. What stands out to you?
  • How is the Lord your strength?
  • How is the Lord your song?

Even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. (Psalm 139:10 NLT)

  • This verse is part of the passage that talks about wherever you might try to go, God will be there. (Read all of Psalm 139 for the context.)
  • “There” reflects a list of places David might try to go. He can never escape from God’s Spirit. How does knowing you can never go somewhere away from God reassure you? How does God’s hand guide you when you think you are away from His presence?
  • When was the last time you didn’t deserve God’s strength, but He supported you anyway? What a good reminder of the enormity of God’s love for us!

[For the choir director: A psalm of David, the servant of the Lord. He sang this song to the Lord on the day the Lord rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul. He sang:] I love you, Lord; you are my strength. (Psalm 18:1 NLT)

  • Has the Lord rescued you?
  • What song can you sing to Him?

O Lord, do not stay far away! You are my strength; come quickly to my aid! (Psalm 22:19 NLT)

  • We know the Lord is not far away, but sometimes we can’t sense His presence as well, due to our own circumstances. How can you experience Him nearby?
  • When you draw near to God, how will you access His strength?
  • Did you laugh when you read the last part of the verse? How typical of us as humans, to grow impatient when we have to wait for God’s help. But that doesn’t mean it’s wrong to ask for quick aid!

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 is the Lord your shield?
  • Do you think sentence three and four are results of sentence two, or do you think God offers it all, regardless of our level of trust in Him?
  • Are you struggling to feel joy overflowing from your heart? Think of the times God has helped you. When you do that, perhaps you’ll break out in song, too!

[For the choir director: A song of the descendants of Korah, to be sung by soprano voices.] God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. (Psalm 46:1 NLT)

  • Interesting that the psalmist wrote instructions for this song to be sung by the sopranos. Why do you think he orchestrated that?
  • When you experience God’s refuge, how can you be strengthened?
  • What does it mean to you, knowing God is ready to help when you’re experiencing trouble?

You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me, for you, O God, are my fortress. (Psalm 59:9 NLT)

  • What do you think it means to your time of waiting, if you’re experiencing God’s strength?
  • What is a fortress? Go ahead and look it up if you aren’t sure! How do you see God as your fortress?

My life is an example to many, because you have been my strength and protection. (Psalm 71:7 NLT)

  • How has what God’s done in your life affected your life story?
  • How do you share your life with others, so you show them an example of God’s strength and protection?

You are their glorious strength. It pleases you to make us strong. (Psalm 89:17 NLT)

  • What is the adjective to the word strength, here? What does that mean to you?
  • What pleases God, according to the second sentence?
  • Let’s spend time getting strengthened by God, since we know it pleases Him. It’s not just any ol’ strength. It’s glorious strength!

STEPS: Add Spiritual Muscles

  • Wait. Make sure you sense God as close in the waiting times as in the going times.
  • Trust. Lean in to your Papa God. He is reliable. He wants what is best for you based on a Kingdom perspective.
  • Get strong. Seek God as the source of your strength. Tap in to Him and let Him pump you up.
  • Sing. When you experience God’s strength and rescue—sing. While you wait—sing. In all times, approach it with an attitude of song.

Copyright © 2018 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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