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What the Bible says about Strength, Growing in
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Exodus 6:5-7

"Then you shall know . . ." indicates that God expects that when He begins to speak to us, though we may believe Him, we may not be able to translate His commands into the kind of action that we will someday be able to. We will really not know the Lord until after He has fulfilled what He has promised to do. Thus, He expects there to be weakness in us; He knows that we will not always do things correctly in faith.

We begin to see here, then, that the people were once again strengthened through God's Word. They bucked themselves up, one might say, and they decided to be encouraged and to resist however they could.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith (Part One)

Luke 22:31

Why is only Peter mentioned out of the twelve? Why is he singled out? It is because Jesus thrust upon Peter the responsibility of strengthening the other disciples after he repented. We have to understand that Satan desired to sift them all, but Jesus only addresses Peter, giving him the responsibility to buck everybody else up.

Why Peter? Why did He not say, "John, you son of thunder, I want you to be a rod of lightning to these men and encourage them after these things happen." No, he says this to Peter. He does not say to John, "I want to you to work with your brother and strengthen him." He says it to Peter because Jesus had given him the responsibility to be the bulwark of strength (humanly speaking) amongst the Twelve.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 2): God's Pattern of Leadership

Hebrews 11:33-34

This passage contains two examples. Whenever God originally called these people, they were not strong enough to do what they eventually did. Out of weakness they were made strong—strong in faith. They waxed in valor, which means they "increased" or "grew."

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part Nineteen)

Hebrews 11:33-34

"Out of weakness" - They were just like us when God began to work with them, and it is probably a good thing that He did not show us their entire lives. They were a mixed bag, but they grew, trying to rely on God more and more. They allowed their faith to be tested and stretched. They failed a great deal, but God patiently worked with them, and they did not give up.

II Corinthians 12:9 tells us, "My strength is made perfect in weakness." His strength is our salvation through our weaknesses, and that suits God just fine because it does wonders for our attitude about ourselves and others. Paul asked God three times to heal him, and God said, "No, no, no." He learned humility because God said no. He also learned to be patient, and that, despite his weaknesses, God continued to supply his strength and his daily needs. Paul realized that, though he was weak and perhaps in pain or somewhat disabled, God continued to do His work through him. God's strength was made perfect through Paul's weaknesses.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith (Part One)

1 Peter 1:1-4

The major theme of I Peter is to strengthen the feeble knees, as it is put in Hebrews 12:12, of his brothers and sisters in Christ who were buckling under the weight of their Christian burdens, whatever they happened to be. At the very beginning of this strong exhortation, then, he reminds them of their hope.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Resurrection From the Dead

Revelation 2:9-10

Both Smyrna and Philadelphia are beset by those who claim to be Christian but are not. Because Smyrnans are more truly righteous than some others in the end-time church, Satan hates them and brings heavy religious persecution on them (II Timothy 3:12). They may be some of those in Daniel 11:32-35 who show strength in the face of such persecution and "carry out great exploits."

Staff
The Seven Churches: Smyrna


 




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