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Summary: Having the strength to match difficult circumstances and to come out the other side.

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INTRODUCTION

Do you sometimes find life is so difficult you wonder if it is worth believing and running to the very end? Do you ever think the journey is too hard and wonder if you are the only one going through this situation? Do you ever feel like giving up?

Turn to Deuteronomy 33: This is normally referred to as the ‘Second law’ because here, Moses rehearses the laws given between Exodus and Numbers to the children of Israel. At this stage, three of Israel’s tribes are carrying a curse – Reuben, Simeon and Levi. So we have Moses about to die and as a prophet he speaks forth a blessing over the tribes. In the process, the curse over Reuben and Levi are broken. Unfortunately, Simeon is missing from this list because there is no record of him repenting. And eventually his tribe becomes scattered and added to another tribe.

But today we want to look at the blessing over Asher.

Deuteronomy 33:24-29:

I wish I could promise you that you will never face any troubles as a Christian and that everything will run smoothly till you die. Unfortunately God’s school of maturity does not work that way. We live in days the bible calls the last days when difficult things are bound to happen. In fact the bible says men’s hearts will fail them for fear of the things that are coming upon the earth and we are told perilous times will come. In your own life, you will face conflict; pain and difficulty at different levels of intensity we need certain keys to remain steadfast and stay in God’s will.

Asher (means Happy) and was blessed with

i. Favour – acceptable to his brothers;

ii. Fruitfulness – children;

iii. Anointing – fatness, dip his foot in oil for the purpose of enduring;

iv. Strong defence – protection;

v. Continuous strength – consistency and hence the subject “STRENGTH FOR CRISIS TIMES”

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

On the first Sunday in 2011, God me a prophetic word to the church that there will battles to fight, mountains to climb and giants to confront and that we needed to fight for the things that matter most, our family, children and God will give victory. It’s always easier said than done. That year turned out to be one of the most difficult and challenging for me on several fronts. A few weeks afterwards, I was breaking bread and I was led to another scripture which I read to the whole church from PSALM 112: 4-8. Little did I know that the next bad news was coming: It was like a baptism of fire. However, though these facts could not be denied, the truth I discovered was that God gives strength to match the circumstance and strength to go to the very end still strong even if you feel like giving up.

CASE STUDY – CALEB; Joshua 14:6-14

Caleb waited for 40 years to obtain his inheritance and his strength did not fail but matched his days in terms of duration and the conflict he faced i.e. the giants. How did he manage to keep his strength to last all his life and to be able to face the circumstances of his day? (Please endeavour to read the verses yourself again and again till they sit deep within your soul).

Two famous scriptures from Isaiah and Lamentations, which I have quoted verbatim from the New International Version are worth noting.

Isaiah 40: 25-31;

“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. 27 Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint”.

Lamentations 3:16-25

“He has broken my teeth with gravel; he has trampled me in the dust. 17 I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is. 18 So I say, “My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the LORD.” 19 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. 20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. 21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” 25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; 26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD”.

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