As for You…Be Strong

King Asa was a descendant of King David, but a distant one. Kind David was his great-great-grandfather. King Asa most likely never knew King David nor King Solomon. He grew up in the divided kingdom when Israel (ten tribes of the Israelites) and Judah (the tribes of Benjamin and Judah) were split. He was the third king of Judah. His father Abijah and grandfather Rehoboam (also the two prior kings of Judah) sinned in the eyes of the LORD. Asa didn’t have good examples, but 1 Kings 15:11 says, “Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as his father David had done.”

Now before you go all, “but you just told me David was his great-great-grandfather,” on me, let me explain. Often in Biblical times the title father didn’t necessarily mean his biological father, but someone from his biological background. It could be a grandfather, a great-grandfather or even a great-great-great-great grandfather. Also the Bible often uses the literary term father to mean spiritual father. Since David was a man after God’s own heart and Asa was too they consider David as Asa’s spiritual father.

So back to my point. Asa has no real example to follow as king except a great-great-grandfather he most likely never met. However he still chooses to do what is right in God’s eyes. In fact Asa tears down alters and false gods and seeks God with his whole heart. In the midst of Asa fighting wars and winning victories because he relied on God, a prophet tells him something. The prophet’s name is Azariah and God tells Asa through this prophet many things. This message ends with a charge to Asa. Azariah says, “But as for you [Asa], be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7

Be strong.

Do not give up.

Your work will be rewarded

I needed to hear this. We need to be strong in the Lord. Continue to work hard for Him. Just because He calls you to do something doesn’t mean the ministry or job will be easy. Often we must be strong for battles and wars rage around us. God is fighting for us, but He wants us to stand firm for Him.

Do not give up. I wish it wasn’t true, but I don’t persevere well. When things are tough or difficult I back down. I give-up. I wonder if I am really doing what God called me to do. But God doesn’t want us throwing in the towel and saying it is too hard. He wants us to not give up the things He has called us to do. Don’t give-up when parenting wears you down. Keep on trying when you can’t seem to get published and opportunities seem thin. Keep praying for those in your life who don’t know God or are far from Him.

You see God longs to reward us, but we don’t get rewarded if we don’t do the work. Your work will be rewarded–not your intentions or plans. Oh that I would work knowing whatever I do in word or deed if I do it for God it will be rewarded. Perseverance is much easier when you know reward is waiting.

How about you? Is it hard for you to be strong, not to give up, and know your work will be rewarded? Me too. Why don’t we memorize this verse together. Perhaps write it on a card and hang it on our bathroom mirrors so we remember to be strong, not to give up, and our work will be rewarded. Will you join me?

What keeps you from being strong? I can’t wait to hear what you say.