What it Actually Means to Be Strong

What it Actually Means to Be Strong

Different seasons of maturity have led me to feel strong in different ways. As a child, I felt strong when I won a round of red rover during recess at school or a race during gym class. In high school, I earned my first Varsity letter, and wearing it on my jacket made me feel strong and victorious. During my collegiate running career, I pushed my body physically further than ever before and felt strong as I ran up and down the hills of endless country roads. Marriage and motherhood are seasons of life where strength has taken a new meaning. Physical injuries prevent me from literally running away from my problems every morning to process life. I had to learn how to be strong without being able to pound down the pavement. 

Strengthen, in 2 Corinthians 12:19, is the Greek word oikodome, “the act of one who promotes another’s growth in Christian wisdom, piety, happiness, and holiness.” We are called to build each other up, and in doing so, we accumulate the enduring strength we need to persevere to execute Jesus’ command to “Go.” The joy of the Lord is our strength! Together, we are propelled forward by the joy of knowing who and Whose we are, and the purpose of the work we are striving to accomplish. “Through the power of Christ, we can endure the trials and tribulations set forth,” Hope Bolinger wrote, “especially when they stand as a barrier in our ability to share the Gospel.” 

Boats with two engines can be steered without moving the actual wheel. The boat can turn on a dime by backing one engine into reverse and the other forward. Adjusting the throttle controls how fast or slow the boat reacts to the direction we’ve pointed it towards. We can back down the throttle of reacting in our own strength and increase the throttle of trust and belief that Jesus will supply us with the strength we need to navigate any situation in His power and wisdom. Obedience in submission to Christ can spin our lives on a dime, just like turning a boat.

Sthenoo is the Greek translation used to define strength in 1 Peter 5:10. It means “to make strong, strengthen, of one’s soul.” When our lives are surrendered into the hands of our Savior, we are completely strengthened, from the body to the soul. God is purposeful. He created us for connection with Him, and the other people He has placed purposefully around and among us. Not only do we find strength in Christ, but Peter adds “firm and steadfast.” 

If we glance back at the six-part definition of strength in the English Dictionary, we’re faced with an impossible accomplishment. We may be able to strengthen ourselves in one area at a time, possibly even two or three- but the strength we need to accomplish the will of God in our lives and thwart the attack of the enemy is found in Christ alone. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. In our weakness, He is strong. Living in each of us, through the Holy Spirit, we can operate in a supernatural supply of strength, because the source of all strength promised never to leave us alone.

Click here to read “Bible Verses about Staying Strong.”

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/RobertBreitpaul

Meg BucherMeg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ at megbucher.comShe is the author of “Friends with Everyone, Friendship within the Love of Christ,” “Surface, Unlocking the Gift of Sensitivity,” “Glory Up, The Everyday Pursuit of Praise,” “Home, Finding Our Identity in Christ,” and "Sent, Faith in Motion." Meg earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University but stepped out of the business world to stay home and raise her two daughters …which led her to pursue her writing passion. A contributing writer for Salem Web Network since 2016, Meg is now thrilled to be a part of the editorial team at Salem Web Network. Meg loves being involved in her community and local church, leads Bible study, and serves as a youth leader for teen girls.