Have you ever prayed for supernatural strength in some form? Maybe you want the strength of God to overcome an illness or some other form of physical ailment. Maybe you want to have the ability to work hard without feeling exhaustion. Maybe you want to find the strength to find a solution to a life circumstance that is physically and/or emotionally draining.
Although we can pray for strength in many areas, and sometimes the Lord will answer, there are times when we pray amiss because we do not understand the will of God for us.
Contrary to what some might believe, sometimes it is the will of God that we should suffer–especially for the sake of Jesus and the gospel. In-fact, being counted worthy to suffer is a blessing.
“The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus.”
Instead of praying for strength that will give us the supernatural ability to be strong like those who do not suffer physical ailments, trying life circumstances, and the like, maybe we should pray for the strength to accept any suffering that is ordained of God and push forward anyway.
For example, if God were to make it so that our bodies supernaturally handled large amounts of stress without effect, where is the glory in that? Rather, there is glory for God’s sake when we endure large amounts of stress–and the associated physical and emotional ailments–without backing down. Even if it means staring death in the face while trusting in Jesus to raise us up again. Lord wiling, we are also given strength to endures such trials without sin.
When we are faced with life-threatening situations, we naturally go into defense mode and sometimes this leads to sin–like complaining overmuch, lashing out in anger, or speaking ill of God. Having the strength to go through such times without a sinful response is also a good form of strength to seek.
Jesus provides the best example of this when He prayed at Gethsemane before His crusifixion.
36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. — Matthew 26:36-
Every Christian faces times of “not as I will, but as though wilt.” “It is given unto us on behalf of Jesus Christ, not only to believe on Him, but to suffer for His sake.”
However, He can give us strength–not strength to escape suffering–but strength to endure it with peace, thankfulness, and an eager expectation of reward from our Lord, Jesus Christ. We have our moments of doubt, despair, and attempts to refuse the will of God. Jesus did too and God the Father did not forsake Him. “When he cried unto him, he heard him.” Psalm 22.
It is also true that sometimes our suffering happens because of the actions or negligence of others. When this is the case, what do we do? Jesus provides the best example of this also:
“Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53.
“Forgive them, Father. For they know not what they do.”
The Book of Revelation states that the Lamb that was Slain and the Lion of the Tribe of Juda is given authority to open the sealed book. Of course, this is Jesus. However, this is true for all of the adopted sons of God bought with the blood of the Lamb. If we follow Him, we will suffer. Jesus is compassionate to this so He strengthens us when we do not pray amiss.
He also rewards His servants. All things are by Him and for Him. Yet, He graciously gives much to us.
“As it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”