The Lord Is Our Strength and Shield
The Bible has many verses on strength when we feel tired and overwhelmed. God’s Word provides comfort and strength in hard times and encourages our faith when we feel despair. Evil’s goal is to make us feel weak, useless and ultimately destroy us. We fight using God’s Word, the Holy Spirit. We can overcome evil attacks with the truths of Scripture!
Psalm 28:7-8 says, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song, I praise him. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.”
When his life was threatened, David wrote these words while he was on the run. He turned his pain into words, crying out to God, proclaiming the strength of his Creator. David asked God for answers in times of doubt and weakness. David knew that he had a personal and purposeful relationship with God, who knew him, loved him, and was with him every day of his life. David found strength in God’s power and presence, hope in God’s promises, and courage in God’s provision and protection. The Lord was his strength when his strength failed and a shield against fear, doubt, and those who sought his life. We, too, can declare, “the LORD is my strength and my shield,” and He provides strength to those who trust in Him, as He is a shield to those who take refuge in His presence.
Have you seen the movie, Hacksaw Ridge? It came out about six years ago. It is a Hollywood Docudrama of the true story of Pfc. Desmond T. Doss, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor despite refusing to bear arms during WWII on religious grounds. Doss was a Christian who wouldn’t carry a weapon or work on the Sabbath. He enlisted in the Army as a combat medic because he believed in the cause but had vowed not to kill. His fellow soldiers considered him a joke, and they questioned his sincerity and threw shoes at him while he prayed. Doss’ commanding officer, Capt. Jack Glover tried to get him transferred. Doss told his Captain, “Don’t ever doubt my courage because I will be right by your side saving a life while you take life.”
At Okinawa in the spring of 1945, Doss’ company faced a terrible mission to climb a steep, dangerous cliff called Hacksaw Ridge to a plateau where thousands of heavily armed Japanese soldiers were waiting for them. Under a barrage of gunfire and explosions, PFC Doss crawled on the ground from wounded soldier to wounded soldier. He dragged severely injured men to the edge of the ridge, tied a rope around their bodies, and lowered them down to other medics below. In the docudrama, Doss says: “I was praying the whole time. I kept praying, Lord, please help me get one more.” It was as if God had his hand on [Doss’] shoulder, giving him the strength and protection to save 75 men—including his Captain, Jack Glover—over 12 hours. The same soldiers who had shamed him now praised him as one of the bravest persons alive.
Sickness, disease, and injuries can weaken our physical strength and destroy our earthly bodies. Personal loss, tragedy, and sadness may steal our joy. Fear of danger or difficulty may overwhelm our courage. Failure and defeat may shatter our confidence. Hurt and betrayal may ruin our trust in others. Our sense of security can weaken when our finances suffer, jobs are lost, or things don’t go the way we plan. However, one thing remains that even when our strength fails, God’s strength remains the same.
When God’s strength is prioritized above our own, we will never be disappointed or left defenseless. God is always near, always strong, and always willing to shield those who trust in Him and call on His name. “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock” (Psalms 27:5).
When God is our strength and shield, we need not fear what tomorrow may bring, for we know that God is with us, God is for us, and God is in us!