Chelsey, Brittney, Doug, Leah & Nakia

Jesus, Job, Esther, Jeremiah, Daniel—who in the Bible teaches you about inner strength?


Never Give Up

Arthur Helps, a nineteenth century writer, said, “Strength is born in the deep silence of long-suffering hearts, not amid joy.” When I hear the words inner strength, I think about Jesus’ dying on the cross. He could have chosen to avoid suffering, but he didn’t. He prayed, and God gave him strength to push through the agony and pain. I also think of Job, who lost his wealth, his children, and his health but remained faithful to God. In return, God restored his fortunes twice over (Job 42:10). These stories teach me that I can survive hard times if I reach out to God in trust and pray for inner strength.

—Chelsey Smith, 16


Taking Risks

King Xerxes of Persia banished his wife, Queen Vashti, and, after a long search, chose Esther to be his new wife and queen. At the time, Esther had no idea that God would call on her to show great strength.

When the lives of all the Jewish people were at stake, Mordecai, who had raised Esther, said to her, “Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this” (Esther 4:14b, NRSV). Esther made a decision to go before the king, risking her life for her people.

Esther’s story reminds me that my life has purpose too. Like Esther, we have been chosen to give glory to God in our generation.

—Brittney McCook


Facing the Lions

When my mother died of cancer, I learned to pray faithfully, as Daniel did, and to hold on to God no matter what happened. (Read Daniel 6:1–28.) Daniel’s story helped me to face the lions that threatened my everyday life. And God continues to give me strength.

—Doug Rose


Too Young?

When God called Jeremiah to be a prophet, the young man made excuses: “I can’t be a prophet. I’m terrible at public speaking. My knees knock, my voice cracks, I forget my lines, and I sweat buckets. I’m too young to be a prophet.”

God’s response? “Don’t tell me you’re too young, Jeremiah. Do you think that I am not powerful enough to still your knees and to steady your voice? Am I too weak to aid your memory and dry your brow? I will be with you, Jeremiah. You will go, and you will speak the words that I place in your mouth.” (Read Jeremiah 1:1–19.)

When God calls you to do something, do you react with wild backpedaling and excuse-making? Know that God will give you the strength to accomplish God’s purposes.

—Leah Bryan, 19



At times, the trials of life press so hard that we find ourselves at wit’s end, unable to move, speak, or act. During those times, God steps in. The Bible says that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. The weaker we are, the more God’s strength can work in us, empowering us to endure hardship when we should be completely broken. Often, we don’t even realize that God has given us strength until we look back on a situation and wonder how we ever made it through. Yet, as we rely on God’s strength, God renews ours. God allows us to catch our breath and refreshes us, giving us a second wind so that we can keep standing, keep fighting, and keep living. When we say, “I can’t take it anymore,” God says, “OK. I’ll take it from here.” What amazing love God has for us!

—Nakia Gater

—from devozine (March/April 2013). Copyright © 2013 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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