(Outline of message preached to Ikthus Bacolod on 03 April 2022)
 GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. (ESV)
 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. (ESV)
I. THE PROVISION OF STRENGTH
A) The Necessity of this Strength
B) The Divinity of this Strength
Extraordinary strength is need to endure in the right spirit the extraordinary sufferings we are called to bear. Only Divine strength suffices for the task.
- The Character of this Strength
(a) This strength is spiritual and not physical. That much we can gather from the fact that it was not military strength to repel the Chaldeans that God gave to Habakukk, but the strength to rejoice even in the midst of famine.
Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. (ESV)
2 Timothy 1:7
 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (ESV)
(b) This strength is the strength to know Christ.
 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,  that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (ESV)
(c) This strength is very much present in the midst of physical weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:7–10
 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (ESV)
(To be continued …)
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