Do You Lack Hope or Strength?
“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.”
Psalms 31:24 (KJV)
How are you? Have you ever had a time when you just didn’t feel like doing anything? Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t get out of your own way? Maybe you were ill or tired. Maybe you were depressed and uncertain about what to do. Maybe you felt lost or overwhelmed.
Often times when we feel at our worst, we don’t feel like we can do anything. It is during these times when we feel like we have no hope and have no courage. We may even feel paralyzed emotionally, physically, and spiritually. We may feel like we may not have an ounce of strength left and couldn’t lift even a finger to do anything.
Sometimes, it is a good thing to feel that low. Addicts say that they have to “hit bottom” before they are ready to quit and change. It isn’t until they know that they have to rely on God and the help of those who God puts in their way, that they come to accept and want change. If addicts still feel they can live “their way”, they are not ready to be healed. They aren’t ready to quit and to open up to God.
Whether you are an addict or just going through something very difficult and feel very low, it is then that we are called to be courageous. Can you imagine being courageous when you are at the lowest of lows? Doesn’t seem possible sometimes.
Have you ever heard of the saying, “God helps those who help themselves”? This saying reminds me of Psalms 31:24. Even though we are feeling low, scared, overwhelmed, ill, weak, or whatever the difficulty might be, we are called to take that baby step towards God. We are called to be courageous even though we may not feel it.
Why? Why should we be courageous in our lowest or scariest moments? It is easier to fold under, to complain, to back away, to sleep until we feel better, to push things under the rug and forget about them, or to just ignore them and hope they go away. Don’t you find those things easier than actually facing the problem and having courage?
Finding it easier to run away from the problem might be a great worldly technique, but it isn’t really the best technique. The best thing to do, what we are called to do is to take that baby step of courage in God’s direction. Be courageous and have faith that God is there for us. If we take that one simple step in having courage and relying on God, God will strengthen our heart. This is really good news. If we take one baby step towards God, He will take one giant step towards us.
Notice that Psalms 31:24 doesn’t say that God is going to solve the problem or cure us. There may be other verses with that sort of message, but this one isn’t one of them. No, it says that for those who have courage and put their hope in God, He will strengthen their heart. God will make us stronger, so that we can have the right attitude and get through the situation better.
There is another saying that helps us to understand Psalms 31:24. It is, “Attitude is everything”. We may have heard that a good attitude can go a long way in helping someone heal. For example, we can find that same sort of sentiment in Proverbs 17:22 (KJV) which says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
God knows how difficult it can be for us to be strong during difficult situations. He made us and he is all knowing. So, God gives us verses like Psalms 31:24 to encourage us to have that little bit of courage and rely on Him. He wants us to know that if we take that baby step, He will give us the strength we need to get through it.
Thank you for your love and compassion towards us. Thank you for being our loving Father. Help us to remember your Word and to have courage in our most difficult times. Help us to put our hope in you, even when we aren’t sure we have much hope left. Help us to know you will strengthen our heart, even when we don’t think we have any strength left. Help us to realize that we can rely on you during all times and to have the courage to take that baby step towards you. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Reflective questions for Psalms 31:24 (KJV):
*What does Psalms 31:24 mean to me?
*Of which sayings does Psalms 31:24 remind me?
*Of which other Bible verses does Psalms 31:24 remind me?
*What does it mean to strengthen our heart?
*What is God telling me through Psalms 31:24?
*Am I courageous during difficult situations?
*What can I do to better heed the words in Psalms 31:24?
If you like this post you might enjoy these other posts on hope, strength, and difficult times. Enjoy!
Now, it is your turn.
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“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
Psalms 16:11 (KJV)
How are you? I hope and pray that you are well. Today, I would like to talk a bit about joy. Do you feel joyful? Do you know what joy feels like? I think we may have fleeting moments of joy. I think we may be happy over this or that circumstance in our life. But, most often, it fades away as circumstances change.
It is like, we can think about and imagine how sad it is to lose a loved one, but we never know until it happens to us. We can empathize and try to sympathize with our friends and neighbors as it happens to them, but we can’t truly know their sadness until it happens to us.
On the flip side, we can hear about how joyous it is to have a child and to hold our baby in our hands for the first time, but unless we have a child and experience it for ourselves, we don’t truly know that joy. We can only imagine.
So, with this in mind, we can start to imagine the monumental encouragement in this verse. We can only imagine what the psalmist is thinking or feeling. We can tell that he puts his trust in God and has great hope for the future and everything God promises.
Let’s look at the first part of Psalms 16:11. It says, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life.” The psalmist has great faith and trust in God. It doesn’t say, “Please, show me the path to life.” It doesn’t say, “Will you show me the path of life.” It doesn’t even say, “If I am good, you will show me the path of life.” The psalmist is very positive and sure of the outcome. He has complete faith and trust in God. Do we have such trust in God?
In Matthew 21:22, it says, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” It seems to me that the psalmist shows that sort of faith in exclaiming that God will show him the path of life. Do we go to God with that same unwavering faith?
The second part of Psalms 16:11 says, “In thy presence is fulness of joy.” I think this is where we need to consider that we don’t even know what joy means at this point. We may have experience a partial joy in different moments of our life. However, I don’t think we can even wrap our head around the idea of what “fulness of joy” could even mean in reality. We might think we can imagine a joy so magnificent and so total as being in God’s presence forever. I just don’t think it is possible to even imagine the joy we will feel.
The last part of Psalms 16:11 says, “…at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” I am not sure if the psalmist could even know or imagine just how wonderful and majestic these pleasures may be. I don’t know that any of us can. However, we can see his belief, trust, faith, and passion in this verse.
The psalmist may not have fully understood his own statement in Psalms 16:11. Although, he believed what God told him through prayer and scriptures about leading him to eternal life and the joy of being in the presence of God for eternity.
Thank you for your infinite love and faithful guidance. Thank you for your mercy and grace. Help us to value your Word and take to heart your truth as did the psalmist is Psalms 16:11. Help us to pray and rejoice with the same confidence and faithfulness that the psalmist did. Thank you for showing us your ways and your love for us. Help us to love and appreciate all you do for us. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Psalms 16:11 (KJV):
*What does Psalms 16:11 mean to me?
*Do I know what “fulness of joy” really means?
*Can I imagine what it would be to be in God’s presence forever?
*Can I see and feel the belief, trust, faith, and passion of the psalmist?
*Do I have this same sort of belief, trust, faith, and passion?
*What does God want me to learn from Psalms 16:11?
*How can I better heed the words in Psalms 16:11?
Now, it is your turn.
I am thankful that you are here. I appreciate your support and kindness. I hope and pray that I will find the belief, hope, faith, love, and passion that the psalmist shows in Psalms 16:11. I believe God is working on me with this. I hope and pray that you will find it also, if you haven't already.
I look forward to reading your comments, thoughts, beliefs, faith, and testimonies. Please, feel free to leave a comment below or to contact me.
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This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.