The Lord strengthens and protects me; I trust in Him with all my heart. I am rescued and my heart is full of joy; I will sing to Him in gratitude. (David, the Song Writer)
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice! Let everyone see your gentleness. The Lord is near! Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Paul, the Missionary)
And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. (Nehemiah, the Cup-bearer to the King)
Do you have a fitness routine? Maybe you use weights or resistance. Maybe you walk or jog daily. Usually we exercise in order to strengthen our muscles/organs, especially our heart. Many people do this for longer health and stability in life. It’s definitely not a bad thing to practice on a regular basis.
As I’ve prayed with great concern the past few days regarding some serious matters in our lives right now, I have come to realize something even more clearly, though: there is NOTHING more important than my spiritual strength/stability. It’s so easy to become weary to the point of discouragement or anxiety. But God has clearly said in His word that we are not to live like that. Now I realize that we all have to fight through these feelings just like the Psalmist (and others) had to do regularly. But I do want to call it what it is, and to the best of my ability in God’s power, reject the presence of depression in my life and pray for JOY and PEACE to fill my soul. It’s 24-7 some days.
So this is my workout routine this week: Renewing my mind, rejecting the enemy’s darts/snares, reflecting on God’s word, rejuvenating my spirit with praise songs, and rehearsing the blessings of God!
I am amazed at how often the words “strength” and “joy” are used together in the Bible. So obviously there is something to it. 🙂 When I’m about to despair, I want to reach for and cling to the promises and principles of God’s active and living Word: Do not lose hope, but pray for joy which leads to peace!
Well, time to do some more strength/endurance training…