“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”
“Strengthen” means to cause someone to be or to become more able or capable with the implication of contrast with weakness. Literally, “strengthen” means filled with strength. God will impart spiritual might and thus make us stable during the trial. God will make us more able to do something and strengthen us for the task. The future tense constitutes a divine promise.
The last term “establish” and this term “strengthen” is similar in meaning and serves to intensify the idea that God makes us able to face the trials of life.
In a disaster, God wants us to have a firm, unwavering defense against suffering.
The same wind will strengthen a strong flame but blow out a weak flame. The wind will fan an intense flame into a great blaze. Know how sublime a thing it is to suffer and be strong “(Longfellow);” see Ephesians 6:10. No one truly knows how strong their faith is until it has been put to trial. The furnace of adversity will reveal the strength of our faith.
“If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small” (Proverbs 24:10).
We need God-given strength. God can provide that strength.
“He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:29-31).
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
God will give us spiritual stamina. He will strengthen us in times of temptation. In no area do we go down to defeat as we do in our home life. Most of our failures are right at home. It is such a humiliating thing to be defeated right in the place where we live the longest.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16).
“Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy” (Colossians 1:11).
“But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!” (2 Timothy 4:17-18).
Sometimes these defeats take place at work, but we are most frequently off-guard at home. The way we treat our loved ones at home is more of an accurate indication of our spirituality than how we treat fellow Christians at church. Our family knows whether we are a phony or not. They see whether we fake it or not.
The story is told of a man who prayed, “Lord, fill me, fill me.” He prayed the same prayer almost every week, and the congregation got tired of it. One night he prayed this same prayer, and his wife burst right into his prayer and said, “Lord, don’t pay any attention to him. He leaks!”
The place to practice Christianity is at home. Are you icily polite with your loved ones? You are nice to each other for appearances’ sake. You appear to be devoted to your mate, but you rankle each other endlessly. Within your person, there is a hostility that borders on hatred.