I have found that when it comes to common sayings in the Christian community, we tend to repeat them without always knowing what they mean. We just hear these sayings said, so we start repeating them, but we don’t actually know what those sayings mean.
One of these sayings is “God is your strength”. It sounds good, but what does it mean? If you don’t know what this means, how can you apply it to your life?
How can God be your strength when you’re not even certain what it means or what it looks like?
Let’s take a look at what this means so that we can begin to apply it in our lives.
What Does it Mean for God to be Your Strength?
First of all, let’s define what the word “strength” actually means in the Bible. There are a couple words that are translated strength.
The Hebrew word ʿōz means might or strength. “Might” implies bodily strength, power, and energy. “Strength” is defined as the power to resist force, the power of resisting attack.
This word is found in verses like Psalm 28:7.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him. Psalm 28:7 NKJV
The Hebrew word māʿôz is also translated as strength in many verses. This word means a place or means of safety, protection, refuge, stronghold.
This word is translated many, many times in verses that talk about the Lord being our strength. This gives us more insight into what it means for God to be our strength. For example, in Psalm 52, this word is translated as strength.
Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness. Psalm 52:7
We can see from looking at these words that are translated “strength” in the Bible, that to say “God is your strength” means that God is your place of refuge and safety. God is your ability to resist attack, your power and energy.
This makes me think of the infant/ parent relationship. The parent is the strength of that infant. The child is kept safe in the presence of the parent. God is our Father above all else. We are kept safe in His presence. He is our strength.
What Does it Mean for the Joy of the Lord to be Your Strength?
When we talk about God being your strength, one verse that comes to mind for many people is found in Nehemiah 8:10. It says:
Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV
The word strength in this verse means: a fortified place; figuratively, a defense. This means that His joy is a place or means of safety for you. That is something to meditate on!
There are an incredible number of verses in the Bible that talk about God being your strength. Now that you know what this means, I would encourage you to read through these. Here are some to get you started:
Bible Verses that Say God is Your Strength
The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. Nahum 1:7
The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. Joel 3:16
O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. Jeremiah 16:19
That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Isaiah 30:2
For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. Isaiah 25:4
The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity. Proverbs 10:29
But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. Psalm 37:39
Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength. Psalm 31:4
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed. Psalm 28:8
Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect. 2 Samuel 22:33