You have girded me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me. (Psalm 18:39)
Too often our heads are hung in defeat, weakness, and shame. You’ve been made to think your faith is stupid and that because you trust in Jesus alone you are stupid. Forward slouch the shoulders. You’ve been told all the things you can’t do because they’re all impossible. Sadness etches the corners of your eyes and mouth. You’ve given into temptation and now fear disqualification from the promises of Jesus. Into your hands your face is firmly planted.
Defeat, weakness, and shame do not define Christ’s Christians. Jesus defines you. One of the true heroes of the Bible was King David. It was he who wrote the words of the Psalm above. David felt the sharpness of defeat, the inadequacy of weakness, and the ignominy of shame. He’d been through countless near-death experiences. His enemies were on his tail. A spear missed hitting him in the face by inches. He was forced to hide behind rocks and in caves. So constant and immanent was mortality’s nearness to David it became an ever-present companion. Under these kinds of circumstances, one feels stripped down to nothing. Naked and alone, standing before the world as our enemies attack, demonstrating our insufficiency for all to see.
“You have girded me with strength as for battle,” said David to his Lord. Completely bare are we apart from the girding of the Lord. The Lord covered the shame of Adam and Eve by girding their loins with leather garments. The Lord covered the weakness of David by girding him with strength and delivering him time and again from the clutches of death. The Lord covers our sins by girding us with the righteousness of His Son . . . with His strength!
If we are wearing as armor the very strength of Almighty God, how can we hang our head in defeat or weakness or shame? Jesus Christ has defeated all this world threw at Him. Homelessness by making His home with us sinners. Helplessness by trusting His Father. Sickness by healing diseases. Evil by casting out demons. Death by bringing life. Fear by facing it head on. The cross by saying “bring it on”! Sin by merciful forgiveness. All that drags us down has been taken from us. Jesus has defeated all this world throws at you.
So lift your head and find the cross! Raise your shoulders and feel how the worries and burdens of life have been removed from them. Show your face, shining with the love and forgiveness of Jesus.
Face the day. You have been prepared for any battles that may befall you. Meet the challenges head on knowing that Jesus meets them with you. All weakness has been cast aside. You have been given the Lord’s strength. Live in it! Trust Him. He won’t let you down. Go into every new day knowing Jesus has your back. His strength is yours. His love is yours. His life is yours.
Faith in Jesus is strength. The Lord does the impossible; He removes your shame.
Gracious Lord, you have girded me with your strength. In your strength, see me through all my days. I trust you. Amen.