Psalm 119:28 “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.”
We are told in the Bible to write God’s Word on our hearts (Proverbs 7:3), to fix it in our hearts (Deuteronomy 11:18) and to lay it up in our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33). So when the psalmist asks to be strengthened by God’s Word, he is asking to have his heart made stronger. It’s interesting that God designed the human heart with involuntary muscle which means it’s life-giving work does not require our help. Like eternal life, it is a gift of God. We don’t have to do anything to make our heart function, but we have free will to choose how to care for it, to either keep it strong or allow it to become diseased. And just as the food we eat can affect the strength of our physical heart, so to can the spiritual food we consume affect our spiritual strength. Feeding on God’s Word (reading, meditating, studying, memorizing), provides the perfect food to remove the blockage of worldliness and sin allowing our spiritual hearts to function as God intended; to love Him and others, to delight in the things of God and to endure the trials of life. But when we feed on anything other than the bread of life, our spiritual strength is drained and our hearts become damaged. We are promised that in this world we will have trouble (John 16:33). When those troubles come, will you be found with a weakened heart from lack of feeding on God’s Word?
Strengthening our spiritual heart also requires using it. My husband and I have a good friend who jokingly theorized that like Hummingbird’s, we only had so many heart beats in our life, and he didn’t want to use up his any faster by exercising. But we know that physical exercise helps strengthen the heart and lack of exercise weakens it. Hippocrates explained the principle behind strength training when he wrote, “That which if used develops, and that which if not used wastes away.” In other words, “Use it or lose it.” Exercising God’s Word (obeying and applying it) builds our spiritual strength, and we don’t have to worry about how many heart beats we use because as believers who live eternally, we have an infinite number. The more we apply the Bible, the stronger our faith becomes and the more we can face life victoriously. The Apostle Paul new this and spent his life strengthening believers. To this day, he still is through his many writings in the Bible. He was and is a spiritual strength trainer with a great desire to strengthen the believers he knew and supply what was lacking in their faith (1 Thessalonians 3:10). Paul knew that being strong in their faith would keep Christ’s disciples from becoming unsettled or led astray by their trials (1 Thessalonians 3:3). Like Paul, the author of Psalm 119 found strength in God’s Word; knowing it and obeying it was his great desire. Is that your desire as well? If you have had an improper diet and a sedentary life, will you choose to be strengthened according to God’s Word?
Where will you find your spiritual strength?
For whom does God want you to be a spiritual strength trainer?