“Saul increased all the more in strength.” Acts 9:22
The risen Christ blinded Saul after confronting him on the Damascus road. Saul was so disoriented and awestruck that he refused to eat or drink for three days. He was physically depleted, to say the least. When Ananias laid hands on Saul to heal and anoint him, Luke says, “Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened” [Acts 9:18-19]. Food helped. He began to regain physical strength he lost without food and water. But the word Luke uses for strength three verses later is different: “Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ” [Acts 9:22]. Luke uses the Greek root of this “strength,” in various forms, 86 times in his Gospel and the book of Acts — and none of them are talking about food or sleep. He’s talking about power and ability, and very often the power and ability to do the supernatural, to understand and explain the word of God [Acts 18:24], to heal [Luke 9:1], to do good [Acts 10:38], to do miracles [Acts 8:13], and to witness [Acts 1:8]. In fact, many of the texts refer, directly or indirectly, to what God Himself can do, even when He chooses to do it through people like Saul. When Saul “increased all the more in strength,” God wasn’t refreshing his body to survive another day; he was filling him with supernatural power to do the impossible. That is the strength you and I need most today.
When Saul “increased all the more in strength” as a new believer and ambassador for Christ, God was strengthening and equipping him to face anything — hunger and plenty, need and abundance. It’s a reminder that we need this strength as much in blessing as we do in suffering, as much in success as we do in failure, as much in health as we do in sickness.
The strength you need most today is not meant for you to keep for yourself, but to expend for the good of others. When God showers us with His grace and sends us His strength, He means for it to be spent in love on the needs and interests of people in our lives. When we use the strength we receive from God to serve others [and not ourselves] in Jesus’s name, He gets the glory [Matthew 5:16].
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might" [Ephesians 6:10].
Much love and care,
Greece Assembly of God
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