When it comes to character qualities desired by most, strength would likely be near the top of all of our lists. People who are strong, people who demonstrate inner resolve and an unbending will in the face of opposition are usually admired and honored, and their strength becomes a source of inspiration for others.
The Scriptures give us many examples of men and women who were strong, and without question, David was one of those men. We're talking about a man who faced a giant—enduring the scorn and disbelief of his own brothers!—when he was probably 13 or 14 years old. We're talking about a man who had to hit road and run from King Saul from about the time he was 17 years old, until the time he became king nearly 15 years later! We're talking about a man who ruled a land caught up in turmoil and brought unity to millions of people. We're talking about a man who worshipped with unmatched passion while being mocked by his own wife. We're talking about a man who was chased out of his palace by the uprising of his own son, and who would later return and restore a broken kingdom. We're talking about a man who would confess a heinous sin and willingly accept the consequences handed down by God. We're talking about a man who was very strong.
And I love how David uses Psalm 46 to dispel any notion that his strength was his own.
You see, David didn't have some special inner-strength reserve that he could draw from, a personal store of courage that was part of his DNA. No, David's strength was not his own. He didn't face the giant on his strength. He didn't rule, worship, restore or confess on his strength, he did it with God's. The same strength available to you and me, today.
There are too many days when I'm struggling that I turn inward for that little extra something, when in fact, I need to turn upward to receive the strength God provides. My strength will fail, but God's will not. My courage will give out, but God can never be overcome. When I turn to me, I stand on shaky ground rooted in some insatiable desire to prove my own worth, but when I turn to God, I stand on solid ground rooted in a desire to bring Him glory and honor.
Let me encourage you today to tackle life with great strength and courage...just make sure it's the strength that comes from the Lord. Turn and rest in His strength and you will find yourself able to stand up under temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13), resist the devil (James 4:7), serve the Lord (1 Peter 4:11) and encourage others (2 Corinthians 1:4).
The words of Psalm 41 do not represent a man boasting about his own strength. Instead, Psalm 41 represents a humbled man revealing the secret source of his admired strength: the Lord. From where does your strength come from today?