“Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.” – Acts 9:18-19
Facing storms in life can be daunting. So daunting, you may be thinking, I don’t know how I could ever get through this. Or you may be battling powerful feelings of despair, suffering, confusion, fear, worry, and even anger. But in the midst of heartache and pain, you can find the hope and courage to carry on.
Whether you are a ministry professional or a new believer, this topic will come up. Most people don’t know what to do with it. Why is that? One obvious reason is the ugliness we deal with time from time in our lives. It robs us. It takes away our confidence and trust, in who God says He is and what God says about us. We have a really hard time hearing God in this world and as a result, we do not have the strength to go on.
But as difficult as a storm may be, you are not alone. God is with you always. The Bible says, “And it was necessary for Jesus to be like us, his brothers, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God, a Priest who would be both merciful to us and faithful to God … For since He himself has now been through suffering … He knows what it is like when we suffer … and He is wonderfully able to help us” (Hebrews 2:17-18 TLB).
Four words leapt off the page when you read the story of Saul’s conversion in Acts 9: “…he regained his strength.” (Acts 9:19) The risen Christ blinded Saul after confronting him on the Damascus road. Saul was so disoriented and awestruck that he refused to eat or drink for three days. He was physically depleted, to say the least. When Ananias laid hands on Saul to heal and anoint him, Luke tells us the scales fell from his eyes, he regained his sight, ate some food, and was strengthened. God was strengthening and equipping him to face anything — hunger and plenty, need and abundance. It’s a reminder that we need this strength as much in blessing as we do in suffering, as much in success as we do in failure, as much in health as we do in sickness.
God wasn’t refreshing his body to survive another day; he was filling him with the power to overcome his circumstances and weaknesses. That is the strength you and I need today.
Your heavenly Father promises His strength to you today. Just as He worked to help Paul spread the gospel, He desires to help you today in whatever lies ahead. The strength of God is always with you. When Peter says, “whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 4:11 ESV), we do this not only by praying for strength but by trusting in the promise of His strength in specific situations.
Do you need God’s strength in an area or season of your life? What area of your life seems to be plagued by weakness? Ask God to work in your life, and experience the fruit of co-laboring with your heavenly Father today.
- How has God worked in and through you during a time of trial? What will you do to develop trust in God’s strength to carry on during times of stress and suffering?
- What can you do to trust God for an uncertain or unknown outcome this week?