Sunday, August 21, 2011

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - Strength For Today

Poor Jeremiah.

He was a prophet that endured.

His audiences were usually apathetic or antagonistic. He was often ignored, and his life was threatened. He had seen the excitement of spiritual awakening in his nation under King Josiah of Judah. But he also lived to agonize over his nation's return to idolatry.

He saw fellow prophets murdered. He felt his people reject God's love.

Even when he was angry with God and tempted to give up, Jeremiah knew he had to keep going.

God had called him to endure.

Today's "Bible Pick 'Ems" is an excerpt from a little dialogue that God had with Jeremiah:

"Do not be afraid of them…For see, today I have made you strong like a fortified city that cannot be captured, like an iron pillar or a bronze wall. You will stand…They will fight you, but they will fail. For I am with you, and I will take care of you. I, the LORD, have spoken!" (Jeremiah 1:17-19)

Jeremiah had a difficult task. God knew that. And He promised to be with Jeremiah.

We can take this message to heart, too.

Our problems may not seem as *ominous* as Jeremiah's (unless you read the newspaper or watch the news!!) – but they are critical to us, and we often feel overwhelmed.

But God gives us the same promise that He gave Jeremiah – nothing will defeat us completely. HE will help us through the most overpowering struggles and situations.

I'd like to finish by focusing on one word from our verses – the word TODAY.

I love how the LORD says that He will make us strong…today.

How often are we daunted because we insist on looking forward into the futurea future that seems so ominous and out of our control?

It's important to remember that the same God who provided manna in the wilderness – manna for each day, I might add – is the One who gives us our daily bread.

Give us THIS day our daily bread.

We are provided the strength we need to face today – today! There isn't strength for tomorrow until tomorrow arrives. God is a present helpand I believe that means He operates best in our NOW.

So, what are you facing today?

Financial problems, health issues, family difficulties, spiritual challenges?

Well, God has a message for you –

"Do not be afraid of all those things.
Do not be afraid of the enemy.
For see, today I have made you strong like a fortified city that cannot be captured, like an iron pillar or a bronze wall.
You will stand.
Oh, life will fight you, and prepare for some enemy attacks.
But life will not defeat you, and the enemy will fail.
For I am with you, and I will take care of you."

And I just LOVE this ending…

"I, the LORD, have spoken!"

Yes, indeed He has.

What do you need God's strength for – today? How can you trust God for His daily bread?

"When in doubt, search God out!"


  1. Oh, Sharon! I need to start printing your pick'ems out and paste them into scrapbook journals to read again and again! I will need this verse as I plunge into this week getting ready for school - kids arrive a week from tomorrow!!

    Strength? I need it! I twisted my ankle on Friday - no swelling, but it is starting to hurt. I don't have full range of motion without discomfort. And you don't want to know how many bins and boxes I have to transport to two different classroom sites this week - plus my big finale send-off on Tuesday for my storytelling job at the mall - teacups and china transportation, set-up, and tear down for that one! Hope I won't be hobbling!!

    TODAY I am able. When tomorrow becomes TODAY - He will make me able, once again! He is faithful and will do it!!!

    Joy to you!

  2. I call it "living in day tight compartments. I'm thankful that God gave us rotating 24 hours periods. The sun rises, the sun sets and HIS mercies are new every motning.

  3. I try to live in day tight compartments too - Normal Vincent Peale even wrote about them. sandie

  4. God's strength is so unlike any other. You can't bottle it and I realize I need Him every day for everything! Amazing!

  5. This is the perfect complement to my prayers lately, especially this morning. I just need the strength to get through the day. In fact, I pray for the strength to get through the morning.

    I am comforted by the "Lord's" Prayer in Luke because I remember learning/teaching that he adds a preposition of diffusion to the mix. Not just FOR this day, but more literally through it. Amen, Lord. Maybe Dr. Luke understood the need some folks have just to get through the day better than most because of his earthly calling, and God knew that he was the perfect one to inspire that additional comfort. For whatever reason, I'm so grateful it's in there.

    Give me through this day my bread of necessity.

  6. Oh Kathy - what a terrible time to hurt your ankle (as if there would be a good time ever - HA!). Looks like the tea party was a great success, by the way. I am thinking of you as you get ready to enter the classroom next week. May the Lord strengthen you each day as you get ready - and may He give you steady legs ready to stand firm for Him!

    Susan - WELCOME! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I loved that phrase: *day tight compartments*. It really describes it, doesn't it? And yes, praise His name, His mercies ARE new every morning - and He lavishes them freely and abundantly on us.

    Sandie - You know, I can tell that you try to live faithfully, one day at a time. You're inspirational to me!

    Mary - Wouldn't it be great if we could bottle that strength? Well, actually it wouldn't be good. God warned the Israelites against hoarding the manna. It was vitally important for them (and for us, too) to learn that we must totally rely on Him - daily - for all that we need.

    Debbie - I love how you offer me (and all of us) another shade of meaning. I've shared this with a few people since you left this comment. Yes, it's wonderful to know that He provides His strength THROUGH the day. I know there are many times when I can only seem to step into a few minutes at a time. But, even then, He is there with His strong arms, and comforting hands.



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)