1 I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
2 I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
3 On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.
4 All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord,
for they have heard the words of your mouth,
5 and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
for great is the glory of the Lord.
6 For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly,
but the haughty he knows from afar.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.
I was thinking about this chapter this morning because I like that line in verse 3 so much. I wanted to share with you all what I wrote:
“My strength of soul increased.” – I think that’s what happens when we make it through difficult times. The strength of our soul increases and we become people who understand what is and is not important. The things that disturb and shake us now become tiny blips on the radar when we understand what is truly important in life. It’s important to have that strength increase when responsibilities increase. If I am responsible for a ministry, a family, a home, and friendships, I need to have increased strength in my soul or I’ll never make it. I can barely make it now without the home and family. If the strength of my soul does not increase, how will I also handle those things? So perhaps God allows difficult circumstances and storms to rage around us at times so that the strength of our soul increases. After some of the particularly difficult things I’ve been through, the strength of my soul increased and I am now better prepared for the times that may happen again. It won’t rattle me like it did. I’ll be prepared and handle it with a greater measure of calm and certainty. The strength of my soul increased.
The strength of my soul HAD to increase so that (verse 8 ) the Lord could fulfill His purpose for me. And it was His steadfast love that allowed it, even though it was painful and I didn’t understand. I am the work of His hands and at times that means I will face difficult circumstances and storms. One day I am going to have a very strong soul!!!
I believe God is strengthening all of our souls so that He can fulfill His purposes for our lives. If we can hang on through the trials and keep our eyes focused on Him, we can make it. And what a gift He has given us of close friends and Christian families who stand beside us in the storms! I am so grateful.