Pray to become a stronger person

Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Stay strong”
Our Bible verse for today: “In Your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale a wall.” Psalm 18:29 (NLT)
Our thought for today: “Pray to become a stronger person”
This morning I want to take us back to the scene from yesterday’s devotional from 1 Samuel 17:45-46. There we read about how the boy David ran forward to engage the giant Goliath in battle. The entire army of Israel had spent weeks shrinking back from and cowering before Goliath, but David boldly went forward, engaged him in battle, and defeated him. David made it clear from the start that it was in the power and strength of the Lord that his victory was achieved. It was God who gave him the courage and the strength to prevail in the face of overwhelming odds. 
Many years later David wrote the words of Psalm 18:29, “In Your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale a wall.” What David wrote in Psalm 18:29 was the truth he had experienced in his battle with Goliath, and then in multiple other battles over the unfolding years. David had learned, through personal experience, that as long as he was standing with God the odds against him didn’t matter. And the more David experienced that, the more he learned to rely on God.
What was true in David’s life is true in ours too. We learn to trust in God rather than in ourselves by trusting in God rather than in ourselves. But here’s an important truth about that: In order to experience those victories, we have to engage in the battles. Any member of the army of Israel could have experienced the victory over Goliath that David had if they had done what David did. But they didn’t. They shrank from the challenge and cowered in fear while David trusted in the Lord, boldly went forward, engaged in the battle, and experienced the victory.
Too often we pray for God to take our challenges away rather than asking Him to give us the strength to deal with them. The great pastor and leader from another century, Philipps Brooks, once urged his people, “Do not pray for easy lives. Pay to be stronger people! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks.”
If God were to take all your struggles away you would never learn to trust Him for the victory and you would never get bolder and stronger. So rather than asking Him to take your challenge away, ask Him instead to give you the strength to handle it and then go boldly forward and deal with it.
God Bless,
Pastor Jim   
Copyright © 2021 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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