We have a real treat today! Shelley Jarl, our guest post author today, has written a wonderful book of inspiration called “The Humidity Makes My Hair Frizz and It’s Really Starting to Stink in Here”. Doesn’t that title grab you? I met Shelley about a year and a half ago when she took the helm at Faithful Bloggers.
Shelley is a mom, Christian, entrepreneur, business owner, author, and lover of all things creative. She strives every day to embrace the abundant life God has given her. As a self-proclaimed warrior, she has put on the armor of God numerous times to overcome tremendous adversity in her life. She can be found living down the end of a ridiculously long driveway, in the mountains of New Hampshire. As proof of her insanity (her word, not mine), she owns Weimaraners. But, most importantly, she is a sinner saved by a loving Savior, Jesus.
When All Your Strength Is Gone
by Shelley Jarl
This morning, with a cup of tea beside me, I opened my bible to Psalm 96. It just “happened” to be the place where my bookmark was last placed as it marks my journey through scripture.
I had been praying asking the Lord for guidance and direction for a few upcoming writing assignments. One of those writing assignments was to write for the readers of Embrace This Season. As I read through Psalm 96 this morning during my prayer time, I suddenly stopped as I read verse 7. “Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples, Give to the Lord glory and strength.” I’ve seen this phrase “give unto the Lord glory and strength” in the Word of God before but had never really stopped to ponder its meaning till this morning.
The passage includes two things we are to give to God, glory and strength. Glory, something we think of as belonging to God and strength, which we often think of as God providing to us. And yet, this passage clearly tells us to GIVE strength to God.
I pondered that for a bit. I’ve recently been through the most devastating trials of my life and so I sat wondering, how do I give strength to God? I mean, I regularly rely on the Lord for strength so the thought of me attempting to give strength to God in the same manner which He gives strength to me is something I find almost laughable.
How could you or I, who are broken and weak, even begin to give strength to God? The answer is, we can’t. Well, at least we can’t in the sense of “providing” strength for God. But as I researched the original language of this passage the word “give” is better translated “ascribe”. Meaning, we are to give the credit for our strength to God.
Let me ask, how often, when you are going through trials, do you attempt to hold it together on your own? How often do you attempt to do things in your own strength? The answer, at least for me is, “all the time”.
This passage is a reminder to us to just stop doing that! We have the source of true, lasting, life giving strength available to us at every hour of every day. Relying on ourselves for strength is a bit like picking up a screwdriver to use to hammer in a nail when the hammer was lying right beside it. You might be able to complete the job with the screwdriver, but the task would be easier with the proper equipment.
When the passage says “give glory and strength to God”, it means we are to give up all attempts at doing things in our own strength and give the strength providing job to God. Then, we are to take it one step further and give Him the credit for the strength.
Like the hammer for the nail, God is so much better at the strength providing job than we are. I know when I’ve tried to do things in my own strength, I can succeed for a time, but eventually the strength fails because it’s not from the source of true and lasting strength.
Long term strength only comes from God. It is a strength which holds even during life’s most difficult trials. I have experienced this strength. When life comes at me with all it’s ugliness, the scriptures which speak of our strength coming from God have always given me tremendous comfort.
If you have never experienced that strength, I encourage you to read through the scriptures which speak about the strength which comes from God. Study those scriptures, write them and place them in places you’ll see them regularly. Pray and meditate on them.
If you surrender your strength to the Lord, He will bless you with a strength only He can provide. He will strengthen you in ways you never imagined, even in the midst of your darkest storms.
Here are a few of those scriptures which speak about strength from God:
…God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1 NIV)
The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless his people with peace. (Psalm 29:11 NIV)
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. (Ephesians 6:10 NIV)
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. (Isaiah 40:29 NIV)
The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. (Psalm 118:14 ESV)
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NIV)
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10 NIV)
(A note from Kim.) Thank you, Shelley. That is awesome, and we are blessed by you!
Shelley can be found online at Because L.I.A.D.A. (Because Life Is A Daring Adventure) where she encourages people to find their God-given adventure, whatever that looks like for them, and live out the abundant life God intended. She can also be found at Faithful Bloggers, where she helps Christians connect and get equipped to impact the world with their faith story.
Along with the release of Shelley’s new book (with that fun title), she’s hosting a fantastic book launch giveaway. Be sure to check that out here. I think you’re gonna love her book! 🙂