GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. (ESV)
Our text can be divided into two parts:
- Provision of Strength
- Picture of Strength
Our focus today will be on the provision of strength. “God, the Lord, is my strength”
- PROVISION OF STRENGTH
There are two things about this provision of strength that I want to preach on:
Firstly, the Necessity of It, and
Secondly, the Divinity of It.
Today, I will focus on the necessity for this strength.
A) OF THE NECESSITY FOR THIS STRENGTH:
It is necessary that God provide us with his strength because of the greatness of the sufferings we are called to bear.
(1) Jesus Words.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (ESV)
You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. (ESV)
(2) Paul’s Example
2 Corinthians 11:24–28
Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. (ESV)
1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. (ESV)
Paul himself suffered, Christ himself suffered, what about us?
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. (1 Peter 2:21)
(3) Ukraine and the Cost of Discipleship.
Our message is very relevant to what is happening today. Recently I read of a church in Ukraine that decided to convert their church building into a shelter for those who have lost their homes as a result of the Russian invasion. Why did they do that? Because that is what disciples of Jesus Christ do.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (ESV)
(4) Today’s Teaching on Victory versus the Bible’s Teaching.
I fear that today many churches teach things that do not produce the kind of disciples the Lord is looking. There is a form of teaching nowadays about prosperity and victory that does not fully reflect what the Bible has to say as a whole about victory in the Christian life. It teaches that if you have enough faith you can avoid suffering such as sickness and poverty and live prosperous and comfortable lives. But what does the Bible teach?
 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,  quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.  Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.  Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.  They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. (ESV)
 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (ESV)
True strength and victory is found in knowing the love God for you in Christ Jesus, a love that was willing to die and will never let you go. Do you have this strength? Do you know the love of God? Do you know the love of Christ?
© Dennis M. Cortes 2022. All Rights Reserved.