Strength is the ability to stand up under emotional, physical, or spiritual pressure and endure to the end. It is not easy to measure strength because it can’t be measured by how much weight you can lift or how far you can run. Instead, it is a character trait that can be seen in the way you keep fighting, admit mistakes, and try again in difficult circumstances.
Strength keeps going when life is hard and the pressure is on. It is the young woman working two jobs to make it through college debt free. It is the little boy playing baseball in spite of the leukemia that has taken over body. It is the single mom who works hard to remain upbeat for her three children. It is the pastor who continues to preach even as his congregation is falling apart. It is the judge who makes a countercultural ruling in order to uphold truth. It is the dad who takes care of his four young children while making frequent trips to the hospital to visit his wife. It is the Christian man who stands before his enemies, refusing to deny his beliefs though they threaten to beat him. Strength doesn’t shut down or give up when life turns up the heat.
Strength is not a false front pretending that everything is okay when in reality your world is crashing down around you. It knows you can’t do everything on your own and asks for help from family and friends. It is not the man who lost his job and won’t accept assistance from his friends but instead tries to make it on his own. Rather, it is the man who reaches out to friends and asks for prayers for his ailing father. Strength is not trying to survive and do everything on your own. It acknowledges that you need support and help from those around you.
Strength is visible to those around you. It is the woman living with a chronic illness who is always smiling and never complaining even though she lives in constant pain. In addition, strength can lift someone else up, helping them and carrying them through a trial, just like a pillar holds up and supports a building. It is the young woman who gives her friend a shoulder to cry on. Strength can not be seen in twenty pounds of muscle, but it can be seen in your attitude when facing difficult circumstances.
Developing strength doesn’t come easily or quickly. It must be matured along the long, difficult road of life. It is not an instant change to your attitude, rather, it is a slow, gradual growing of one’s character through finding joy in difficult circumstances, overcoming difficulties, and fighting on. Don’t give up. Stick with it to the end. This is strength.