Are you already struggling with weariness and fatigue this Christmas Season?
Here are four Scriptures that have been a rich source of encouragement to me. I have placed below all four texts in three different versions. The first translation (either NIV or ESV) is an actual translation of the Bible. If you were going to commit one of these passages to memory, you would want to use an actual translation like NIV, ESV, NASB, or NKJV. The other two below are called paraphrases. I would use a paraphrase like the Message or the Amplified Bible only to supplement my reading and understanding of the Bible. They are helpful to explain the significance of particular words or phrases. Sometimes it helps to read a familiar passage in a new and fresh way.
For example, what does it mean to wait for the Lord in Isaiah 40:31? Well, the Amplified Bible says: Wait for the Lord [expect, look for, and hope in Him]. It fleshes it out a bit. In Isaiah 41:10 below what does it look like for the Lord to help His people? Well, again the Amplified Bible says that [He hardens you to difficulties]. That would not be the first thing I think about when reflecting upon the Lord helping me. The Lord toughens His people to endure whatever he sends into their lives. Ask him to do that for you. I like what the Message says in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: “Christ’s strength moves in on my weakness.” Ask the Lord to do this in your life.
May the Lord use the below Scriptures to encourage you and cause the power of Jesus to pitch a tent over your life so that you can make it through anything in and through the One who makes you who you are!
29He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31but they who wait for 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.
Here’s the Amplified Bible translation:
29He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound].
30Even youths shall faint and be weary, and [selected] young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted;
31But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.
Don’t panic. I’m with you.
There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.
I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.
I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
NIV: “But he (Jesus) said to me (the Apostle Paul), ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
The Amplified Bible:
9But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!
10So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength).
Then he told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.
ESV: I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Amplified Bible: I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].
The Message: I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.