Four Bible Verses about Strength

Using These Verses Can Help You Overcome Weakness
and Be Strong in The Lord

Are you feeling weak and powerless?  Consider these Bible verses about strength to help encourage and strengthen your heart and overcome the obstacles in your life. 

Life is hard.  Turn on the news and be prepared to be depressed by story after story documenting all the problems in the world.  Is it any wonder why Job who said, “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble”  (Job 14.1).  

You can read and hear about problems worldwide, naturally, and locally.  There are financial recessions and depressions.  There is civic unrest.  There is crime and violence in the streets.  There is blatant and unapologetic immorality.  

There are personal challenges and hardships.  Are you struggling financially?  Are you wrestling with your own moral weaknesses?  Are temptations hard to resist?  Is your marriage on shaky ground?  Is your career stagnant or moving in the wrong direction?

It is More Important Than Ever to be Strong

It is easy to give up on your marriage, your job, your life.  We need the strength to hang in there and keep pressing forward.  We need to be strong to resist the temptations that are constantly placed before us.  But where can that strength be found?  

Other web pages have blessed us by listing a long series of Bible verses about strength.  Some of these pages provide twenty, fifty, and even a hundred Bible verses on strength which will help strengthen our faith. 

Have you viewed the list provided by BibleMoneyMatter?  They offer some insightful Bible verses on how to be strong.  Take some time to read the more than forty "be strong" Bible verses from BibleStudyTools.

With so many sites providing these wonderful and helpful lists, I have decided to do something a little different.  Instead of listing a wide variety of Bible verses about strength, I wanted to provide a very brief list of my favorite strength Bible verses. 

With these verses, let’s look at them very closely and think about what they mean and how they can help us be strong during those times of weakness.

Bible Verse About Strength #1:  2 Corinthians 12:10

Would is surprise you to know that being weak can be a blessing?  Did you know that the Bible actually says that weakness can be a strength?  Yes, there is a verse in the Bible that says that.

Dealing with Day to Day Hardship

2 Corinthians 12.10:  “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

If you put this verse into the context, you will discover that Paul is struggling with a specific weakness. 

If you back up to the beginning of the paragraph, Paul says that “lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure”  (2 Cor. 12.7).

Paul was given a “thorn in the flesh” designed to keep him humble.  

Side Note:  Do you have something in your life that makes living more difficult?  Do you have weaknesses which make your life more challenging?  Sometimes weaknesses are a blessing in disguise and are given to us to help us be the people God wants us to be.  

The Daily Hardship of the Apostle Paul

What was this “thorn in the flesh” that Paul was given?  If you keep reading, you will not find anything in this text that specifies what it is.  Paul goes on to write about “this thing” in verse 8, but he never identifies the problem.  

There are other passages that may give us some insight.  From these other passages, it would seem that his infirmity had something to do with his eyesight.  It is likely that Paul suffered from partial blindness.  

  • Did you know that Paul did not write the letters himself?  Paul always signed his own letters (2 Thess. 3.17; 1 Cor. 16.21), but he did not write them.  

All the books of the New Testament written by Paul were only dictated by Paul and written by someone else.  In Romans 16, this individual is identified.  It is in Romans 16.22 that we are told “I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, greet you in the Lord.” 

  • There is one exception.  One of the books of the Bible, he wrote himself.  

That would be the book of Galatians.  Toward the end of that book, Paul writes, “See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand!”  (Gal. 6.11). 

The idea is not that he wrote long letter, but that he wrote letters which large characters because of his eyesight.  I suppose that if we still had those original letters, it would truly be a large print Bible.  

  • His brethren sympathized with his vision problems.  

In the same letter that he wrote himself, Paul says that “because of physical infirmities I preached the gospel to you first”  (Gal. 4.13).  He then references “my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject”  (Gal. 4.14). 

They did not see Paul’s physical infirmities a reason to reject him.  Instead, Paul says, “I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me”  (Gal. 4.15).

Strength is Found in Weakness

Take those thoughts back to our original Bible verse about strength.  In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul wrote about his physical infirmity.  He writes in verse 8 that “I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.”

How did the Lord respond?  He said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness”  (2 Cor. 12.9).  In other words, Paul was told that he could lean on God for strength.  

That leads us right into our Bible verse about strength.  Paul says in verse 10, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Watch what Paul just said.  He tells us that when he is weak, he is strong.  Why?  Because when he is weak, that encourages him to lean on and depend on the strength of God.

Turn Your Weakness into Strength

Listen very carefully.  You are never more strong than when you draw from the strength of God.  But when you see yourself as strong in and of yourself, you will never see your need for God strength.  

It is when you are struggling with life, beat up by your circumstances, and faced to deal with hardship that you realize just how much you need God’s strength.  It is in that moment you become stronger than you ever would be on your own.  

Bible Verse About Strength #2:  Ephesians 6:10

Ephesians 6.10:  “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”

This is a Verse about Moral Weakness

  • Have you ever faced temptation and felt that you do not have the strength to resist?
  • Have you ever been consumed by anger that you did not believe you were capable of resisting the urge to repay someone for what they did to you, even though we are told to “be angry and do not sin”  (Eph. 4.26)?  
  • Have you ever felt the pull of pornography?  The enticement of fooling around with someone you were not married to?  The draw of having an extramarital affair?  
  • Have you been envious of someone?  Have you acted selfishly?  Did you know that these things are considered just as serious as murder and adultery according to Galatians 5.19-21?

In context, we are reading about the devil who dispatches his angels into the unseen world of providence to place the object of our desires into our paths.  It is the devil’s desire to use these temptations to draw us away from God.  

The devil does not tempt us with something we can easily resist.  He tempts us in the areas where we are weak. 

When Jesus was in the wilderness fasting for forty days, what did the devil use to tempt Him?  In Matthew 4.2, we are told that “afterward, He was hungry.”  It was at that point that the devil came to Jesus and said, “If You are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread”  (Matt. 4.3).  The devil used His hunger against Him to tempt Him.

That is how the devil tempts us.  He uses areas where we are weak to get us to give into temptation and sin.  How can we develop the strength to resist him?

Finding the Strength in Your Relationship with God

How can we become strong enough to overcome temptations?  It is in this Bible verse about strength that gives us the answer.  

Our verse says, “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.”  Let’s break that verse down and see if we can learn from it how to be strong.

It begins with the words “Be strong in the Lord.”   

It carries the idea of being in a relationship with God.  You can be strong to resist temptation because of your relationship with God. 

It is your love for God, your passion for God, your desire to please Him, and your drive to serve Him that moves you to keep yourself under control and resist temptation. 

You realize that when you sin, it is offensive to God.  You understand that “your sins have separated you from your God”  (Isa. 59.2).  This realization compels you to resist because you do not want to do anything that would jeopardize that relationship.

Finding Strength in His Ability

This Bible verse about strength goes on to say, “and in the power of His might.” 

The word “power” is another word for “strength.”  But the word “might” is of great interest.  It is translated from a Greek word that literally means “ability.” 

The idea is that you can be strong because of your relationship with God, and you can be strong because of His ability. 

Think about the powerful abilities of God. 

  • He is all-powerful.  He is the One who created the universe.
  • The prophet Jeremiah observed, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You”  (Jer. 32.17).  
  • Later in the text, God Himself said, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh.  Is there anything too hard for Me?” (Jer. 32.27).  

Now watch what our Bible verse about strength says. 

We will face temptations.  The devil will set before us those things we are weak at resisting.  But we can be strong because of our relationship with God.  And we can be strong because we trust in power of God’s abilities.

You Cannot do it Alone

It is not within our own abilities.  We are not strong because of our abilities.  We are strong because of His abilities. 

Think about what Peter wrote in 2 Peter 2.9.  He said, “the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation.”  How does God give us this strength to resist temptation? 

If you are feeling morally weak and find it difficult to resist temptation, your strength does not lie in your own ability.  It is found in the God’s ability. 

Trust in God to keep the devil in check knowing that He “will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to handle”  (1 Cor. 10.13).  

Trust in the power of His word. 

How did Jesus respond to the devil’s temptations?  In Matthew 4, Jesus met every temptation with scripture. 

  • Use the word of God to remind you the way God wants you to live.
  • Go through the Bible and find passages that address whatever weakness you have.
  • If you are struggling with lying, look up passages about lying and post them on your computer screen.  
  • Write them in your journal.  
  • Read them when you get up in the morning and when you go to bed at night.  

Use the Bible to empower you.  After all, we are told that “the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”  (Heb. 4.12)

You can have the strength to resist temptation when you put you trust God to help you.

Bible Verse About Strength #3:  1 Corinthians 16:13

1 Corinthians 16.13:  “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”

In the closing remarks of the book of 1 Corinthians, Paul encourages the brethren to do four things.  There are two observations worth noting about each one of these verbs.

  • First, each verb in this verse is the Greek imperative.  That means that it is issued as a command.  We might use the phrase in our own vernacular of something that is necessary.  This verse says that it is imperative that you watch.  It is imperative that you stand fast in the faith.  It is imperative that you be brave.  And it is imperative that you be strong.
  • The second observation is that each of these verbs are in a tense that suggests continued action.  

We are concerned specifically with the last two phrases in this verse.  There is the phrase that says, “be brave.”  And there is the phrase that says, “be strong.”  

To Be Strong, It is Time to Man Up (even if you're not a man)

The verb “be brave” is translated from the Greek word for “man.”  If you have the English Standard Version, you will read the words, “act like men.”  We might use the phrase, “man up.”  

This verse tells us that we are commanded to keep on acting like men.  

The phrase was never meant to be sexist, but it is used to convey the idea of being courageous in the midst of a difficult situation.  To tell someone to “man up” was to tell them to show courage rather than cowardice.  

To Be Strong, It it Time to be Powerful

Then you have the phrase that says, “be strong.” 

The word “strong” is translated from a form of the Greek word “kratos.”  If you are you familiar with Greek mythology, Kratos was the god of strength and power.  It carries the idea of raw and brutal strength.  

This is a passage where we as Christians are commanded to keep on being courageous (manly) and powerful (strong). 

  • Are you having a hard time resisting temptation?  Remember these words.  You are commanded to man up and be power through it.
  • Are you having a hard time saying no to your friends or coworkers who are pressuring you to do what you know is wrong?  If you struggle with peer pressure, remember these words.  You are commanded to man up and power through it.
  • Are you having trouble speaking up for Jesus and sharing the good news to others because you fear they will reject you?  Remember these words.  You are commanded to man up and power through it.  

To Be Strong, Be More Loving

Please do not miss the very next verse.  1 Corinthians 16.14 says, “Let all that you do be done with love.”  

I find it extremely interesting that right after we are told to be brave and be strong, we are told to act out of love. 

The one who is only brave and strong may demonstrate that strength in a way that is harmful and caustic to others.  We are to be strong, but we are to demonstrate that strength through love.  

Bible Verse about Strength #4:  2 Timothy 1:7

2 Timothy 1.7:  “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

The Challenges that Timothy Faced

If you study this verse in context, you will find that 2 Timothy was written to a preacher named Timothy who was struggling.  Specifically, he was being persecuted because of his preaching and began to shrink from his responsibilities as a preacher.  

For this reason, Paul offered him words of encouragement to help him keep going.

  • He tells Timothy that “without ceasing, I remember you in my prayers day and night”  (2 Tim. 1.3).  
  • He tells Timothy that he was “mindful of your tears”  (2 Tim. 1.3).
  • He tells Timothy, “do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord”  (2 Tim. 1.8).
  • He tells Timothy to “share with me in the suffering for the gospel"  (2 Tim. 1.8).
  • He uses himself as an example saying, “I also suffer these things; nevertheless, I am not ashamed”  (2 Tim. 1.12).  

Right in the middle of all these encouraging words, Paul writes our Bible verse about strength.  He tells Timothy that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”  (2 Tim. 1.7).  

The word “fear” is not the idea of terror, but of timidity.  Timothy was hesitant to preach the gospel.  He was feeling timid because of the suffering he had to endure.

Let’s break down that verse and see how these thoughts can help us be strong when we are overcome by fear.

You Can Overcome because God has Given You Power

Our Bible verse about strength tells us that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power.”

The idea of power is ability.  God has given Timothy the ability to accomplish what he was called to do. 

We find a similar thought in Philippians 2.13 where Paul writes, “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

Whatever hardship or difficulty you may face, you do not have to be afraid of it.  God has given you the ability to work through your difficulties and overcome them.  God is even working in your life accomplishing His will through you.  

You Can Overcome Because God has Given You Love

The verse goes on to say that God has not given us a spirit of fear but love.  

If you are struggling with hardship, and are gripped with fear, you can overcome that fear with love.  The word translated as “love” is “agape.”  This is a word that describes wanting what is best for another.  

Know that there are people in your life who love you.  They want what is best for you.  That’s what Timothy had as well.  All through this book, Paul offers Timothy encouraging words that essentially says, “I know what you’re going through.  I have suffered myself.  I am there for you.”  

To overcome fear in your life and gain the strength to persevere, know that you do not have to face these hardships alone.  You have people who love you and are willing to help you through it.  You are not by yourself on an island.  There are people who know what you are going through and understand your hardships.  

Being among individuals who understand and are willing to help will stir up your courage and give you the strength to keep going.

You Can Overcome Because God has Given You a Sound Mind

This Bible verse about strength then refers to “a sound mind.”  

The words “sound mind” literally means “a healthy way of thinking.”  What is a healthy way of thinking?  

1.  Think about the fact that hardships make us stronger. 

Paul writes in Romans 5.3 that “we also rejoice in tribulations.”   

Really?  Why would anyone rejoice during times of tribulation?  Keep reading the passage to find the answer. 

The passage goes on to say, “knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope”  (Rom. 5.3,4).

This passage is telling us that suffering makes you a better person.   You can rejoice when you are feeling weak and incapable.  You can rejoice when you are suffering.  Why?  Because the suffering you are forced to endure is making you stronger.   

2.  Think about the Bible. 

We are told in 2 Timothy 3.16 that “all scriptures are given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 

When you conform your thinking by the teachings of scripture, you are thinking in a way that is healthy. 

How does this help when you are suffering?  Suffering can make you forget about God.  Suffering can make you question your faith.  Suffering can cause you to feel alone. 

Reading the Bible will help you rid yourself of such unhealthy thinking and remind you that God is still with us and involved in your life.  

3.  Think about God. 

Are you being threatened?  Are you being ridiculed?  Are you feeling discouraged?

Remember that you are here to serve God.  Thinking about yourself can lead you to feeling sorry for yourself.  Remembering that you do all that you do for God and for your fellow man will help take the focus off yourself and onto others.  

Final Thoughts

Those who trust in themselves and in their own strength will have a hard time getting through the hardships of life. 

Those who put their trust in God and in the power of His might will find themselves doing well and persevering even when life gets tough.  

Use these Bible verses about strength as a reminder to draw strength from God and trust that He is still working in your life to accomplish His good will.  

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