Thanks for hanging in there all this week! Today we conclude this week’s three-part message, which is based on Psalm 31:24—“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”
PART III – His Promise … “And he shall strengthen your heart”
What a wonderful comfort for God’s people to know that God never commands us to do anything without equipping us to actually get it done! God did not simply say, “All you who hope in the Lord, be of good courage.” After God tells us what to do, He proceeds to tell us how it will get done: “He shall strengthen your heart.” It is important to take careful notice what of what is held forth to us in this incredible promise. The psalmist says the Lord “will strengthen your heart.” He does not say any of the following will strengthen your heart:
- A better economy
- A new job
- A different church
- More money
- Better health
- Higher education
- A new address
- A longer vacation
- Less rebellious children
- A more loving spouse
The psalmist makes it crystal clear that it is God and God alone who will strengthen the hearts of those who trust in Him in every circumstance. Make no mistake, a lack of courage is a disease of the heart; there is only One who can cure it: our Cosmic Cardiologist, who delights in showing Himself strong on behalf of His people. All strength comes from our Cosmic Cardiologist.
The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. (2 Chronicles 16:9)
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
What deliverance do you need today? What Red Sea are you facing, with an implacable enemy thundering up behind you? What wall of Jericho is standing in the way of the land promised to you by your God? What Garden of Gethsemane are you kneeling in, hoping desperately to hear from your God? What dark night of the soul have you been struggling with, hoping to see the light of the morning star? Where in your life have you been wrestling with God, refusing to let go until you receive your blessing?
Clearly, the Cosmic Cardiologist is not finished with you yet. Do you know why I make that statement so confidently? It’s because you’re still here! God has more for you to do to advance the cause of His kingdom. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, no matter what difficulties we are facing, we will, by God’s grace, be able to do what David did—in spite of feeling distressed, dejected, rejected, weak, and not at all courageous.
David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord His God. (1 Samuel 30:6)
As we close out this three-part message, I hope you will never lose sight of the fact that one of ways God strengthens us is by connecting us to each other. Yes, we were saved individually, but we were saved to community. We were called to be members of one body (Ephesians 2:16) and we need each other!
Charles Spurgeon wrote, “God does not work needless miracles. He will not send an angel when a brother or sister will do. A brother’s sympathy is more precious than an angel’s embassy.” Wow! Who better to help a hurting heart than one who has the scars from the same battle?! When a brother or sister speaks into our lives it is “like apples of gold in baskets of silver.” Sometimes it may come in the person of Barnabas the encourager. At other times it can come in the person of Nathan the confronter. Either way, it is a great grace the Cosmic Cardiologist gives to all of His patients: He strengthens our hurting hearts.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!