The Lord is My Strength and My Shield

Psalm 34:18(NLT)

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”

Karen took a part-time job as a receptionist after her last son graduated high school. She liked the change and was contemplating finishing her associate degree in communications, but these days it’s the last thing on her mind. Karen has a crushed spirit and everyone around her knows it. Her joy of being a loving mother and wife, and her love of baking, is notorious. She shares her generosity with co-workers by bringing in delicious baked surprises, and they are all so very fond of her. The way she’s been acting lately has left them very concerned. She seems emotionally drained, and this isn’t like Karen at all. The truth is that her marriage has been in turmoil for the last several months. Her husband moved out, and before his affair, she had depended on him for financial support. She doesn’t think she can hold things together, emotionally or financially.

Life can throw things our way that we never saw coming. They seemingly come out of nowhere and throw our lives in turmoil. There are very few things that can cause the kind of emotional uneasiness that a situation which completely upends life as you knew it will bring. If we go under the hood a little bit, we’d see that we’re devastated because deep down, we placed all our confidence in an individual that wasn’t the Lord Jesus Christ. When this individual disappoints us, the disruption is experienced at our core. For the first time, we have an opportunity to look internally and recognize that we’ve built the foundation of our strength and power on a person. This person is not equipped to handle the heft of our expectations, dreams, and happiness. No human being is.

That’s a shocker for most people. We’re accustomed to making the spouse, the children, the job, or the wealth our everything. There are some men that use their bank accounts as the foundation of their manhood. If ever something happened to all their money, they’d crumble or become an unrecognizable version of themselves. Deep down, they are not anchored in truth, but anchored in the love of money, which 1Timothy 6:10 tells us is the root of all evil.

Whether it is spouses or boyfriends, women can sometimes make the mistake of clinging to the significant man in their lives in a way that locks God out of their hearts. We can develop very unhealthy fears when our Heavenly Father and His Word is not the foundation of our existences. We make our husbands and our boyfriends our everything, and we don’t realize we’ve done this until they no longer want to be a part of our lives. We’re devastated when this happens, and it reveals that we’ve been clinging to them rather than building our faith and confidence in God. Karen made the mistake of doing this. She has repented and is learning to lean on God with her whole heart, and to walk in the strength of His power.  

We must remember that our spouses and boyfriends are not our property. They don’t belong to us. We all belong to God, and our responsibility as spiritually mature men and women is to pray continually for our spouses and loved ones, and to recognize that Jesus Christ is the head of our lives. He commands us in Matthew 6:33(ESV) to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” We can’t honor this commandment if we are depending on others in an unhealthy way.

Building faith
God wants us to build our faith in Him before we’re engaged in serious significant relationships. He wants to help us navigate the complexities through His Holy Spirit. Consider how we build and maintain anything of quality in our everyday lives. For instance, in the natural realm, buildings and homes are very useful and meaningful to us. They are necessary and require construction. We understand very clearly that good construction requires quality tools and materials. This is a given. Also required is the expert skill of the person that will be using the tools and materials. So, the premise that a quality outcome is a result of quality construction and maintenance is very applicable to how we approach building and maintaining our faith in God.

Also, consider our physical body. To take care of them, we need to ingest and digest water and the proper food, and we also need to exercise. We must commit to these practices to maintain good health. In the spiritual sense, our faith in God must be increased and strengthened to maintain a quality existence. Faith is like a muscle, and to keep it flexible and pliable to God’s Will, we must ingest and digest the Word of God. Romans 10:17(NLT) tells us, “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.”

Faith is required for any quality thing we attempt to do. It doesn’t come from another person, so a relationship with a mere mortal can’t give us faith. When our actions convey that this is our approach in a relationship, that we’re relying on ourselves and the other person to hold things together, we’re headed down the wrong path. The love of God in Christ is the only glue strong enough to hold a relationship together, and our faith in Him must demonstrate our understanding of this truth. God is our everything, not another person. 

When our hearts are broken and our situations seem unbearable, faith in God is our rescue. Psalm 28:7(NLT) affirms, “The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” Psalm 28 is a cry to God for help. It’s a prayer from the psalmist, King David, who had enemies seeking to harm and destroy him. David believed in God’s power and love, and he praised God with thanksgiving because David had faith in the victory God would give him. God came to David’s aid, and He will do the same for us. You and I don’t know what the future holds, but we must know that God holds our today, our tomorrow and our future. When we seek Him with all our hearts, God is able and willing to restore us and give us peace. His Will is that we trust Him as our strength and shield with all our hearts, because He is faithful to bless and help us and our faith in Him will not disappoint.■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

“The Lord is My Strength and My Shield”,©2023. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

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