Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Strength and Joy

Human strength fails. It falls apart, bringing us crumbling to the ground with it. So where is this power we have in God? When we've been trusting him, keeping our eyes up and find ourselves still falling?

Isaiah 41:10 "fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

How is it that at the moment we are looking up we can still feel like we're falling. Our God wants to strengthen us...but somehow me must learn how to let him.

Digging into the scripture I see it again...something I've known but I can't remember. The key to strength is there. The key to letting him empower - thanksgiving.

Eucharisteo - to give thanks to God, is how we let God fill our lives with his dynamic power.

Colossians 1:11-12 "May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light."

I see the connection and it makes me curious - the words there, "strengthened with power" is the word we get dynamite from.

This power is explosive and big and powerful.

And it's directly connected in Greek to the giving of thanks "eucharisteo".
Nehemiah 8:10 says it too... "...And do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

This word "joy" is Chedvah - meaning rejoicing, gladness, joy. In Greek they would use the word "chara". And Chara is the root word of Eucharisteo - to give thanks.

So this power that we long for - this dynamic filling of God - is joy. We need joy. His joy is not just a by product of our faith, it's the power inside of us. Trudging through life, hoping to receive back our joy isn't going to work. We're going to have to find it, and plead with God for it. Because without it, we fall apart.

Strength is Joy.

And joy is found in us giving thanks.

Life is hard, and giving thanks can be hard to come by. I don't want to be a person of thanks only on thanksgiving or special occasions because I want to be filled with this strength each and every day.

And there in giving thanks "eucharisteo" - that is where I find the key to what to give thanks for...because in the middle of that word is another root. "Charis" means grace. And grace is all around me - if I can learn to see it.

This dynamic strength, it's all about having joy (Chedvah, chara), which comes from giving thanks (eucharisteo), as we stand in awe of his grace (charis).

So again, I pull out my list of his gifts, and I write it slowly thanking him again and again...for the ways he loves me.

#653 The hard things that make me pause, and turn back to you.

And the count continues...counting my way to 1000 more gifts and joy overflowing.