Thought for Thursday

Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering, with joyfulness. Colossians 1:11

A group of American marines were being held in a Japanese prisoner camp during the second world war. Among the many things they had to do without was soap; although they worked at heavy labour most of the time, they were seldom given any soap to allow them to clean up, even though the storehouse had many cases of soap in it. As the Japanese were overseeing the construction of some water pools to help protect the camp against bomb attacks, one of the Americans noticed there was no reinforcement provided. So he convinced one of the Japanese guards that soap was an excellent component to add to concrete, to make it stronger. So the guard had the prisoners haul out the crates of soap and cut it up into the concrete mix. The Americans cut up the soap, but most of it went into their own pockets, and the Japanese never discovered the trick that had been played on them. My friends who work with rebar will laugh at that story, because soap does nothing to strengthen concrete. But the power of God does wonders for the strength of quiet and humble Christians who depend on that power.

Many people in the world suffer personal calamities of all kinds, causing them to give up hope, or run away, or commit suicide, or turn against family members and neighbours, or strike out against those around them, or commit crimes of violence and destruction. These people lack the strength to hold up when things get tough; they run out of resources on which to draw to handle things that happen to them. Sadly, some Christians experience the same problems and the same catastrophes. But our text tells us that we can receive all the strength we require for whatever situations we encounter, through the power of God.

A Christian’s resources are never exhausted, because they are the resources of the Almighty, the fonts of His boundless supply, the wells of His measureless abundance. There is nothing what we can ever possibly need that is not available in and through Him. That includes the strength to carry us through our good and bad days, our darkest nights, our daily grind and our deepest troubles. Coupled with God’s promise that you and I will never be tried beyond our ability to cope (1 Corinthians 10:13), we have today’s test to remind us that we can never encounter anything that the power of God cannot handle. What a comfort we have in this great assurance.

If we will only recognize our own weakness, and access the Lord’s strength, you and I are much stronger than we can ever imagine, and are capable of endurance and victories beyond our knowledge. – Jim MacIntosh

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