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It's About God, Not About You
Bible study on inner strength.

We concluded last Wednesday's Bible class with this thought: It's about God, not about you! If you serve God as instructed in His word, He will give you the strength you need as a Christian.

In this article, I want us to explore this principle in various areas of our walk with God.

Meekness, Inner Strength
Meekness is inner strength (power) that's under control. It includes humility and gentleness, as a result of an "inwrought grace of the soul; and the exercises of it . . . first and chiefly towards God. It is that temper of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting" (Vine's).

Our inner strength comes from God. He strengthens us "with power through His Spirit in the inner man" (Eph. 3:16). He's "able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us" (Eph. 3:20).

Meekness is about God, not about you! Although you are responsible for serving God as He commands, God is the one who gives you the inner strength of meekness.

Overcoming Temptation
"No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it" (1 Cor. 10:13).

God is faithful. He will not allow you to be tempted above what you can bear. And when you are tempted, He'll make sure there's a way to get through it, so you can endure.

Overcoming temptation is about God, it's not about you! God makes sure you have the strength to endure every temptation. He doesn't make you do the right thing, but He gives you the inner strength to do the right thing.

Enduring Trials
Trials are different from temptations. Temptations are internal, and involve sinful lust (Jas. 1:14). But trials are external, and do not necessarily involve sin.

Trials are things that come upon us and "try" our faith. They can be anything that troubles us. They can be random acts of nature, such as floods or hurricanes. And they can be the stresses of everyday life, as well as the sorrows we experience as humans.

If we handle trials correctly, good comes from them. Paul says, "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Rom. 8:28).

And James identifies a good thing that comes from every trial. "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (Jas. 1:2-4).

Paul tells us that God strengthens us to endure every trial, rhetorically asking, "If God is for us, who is against us" (Rom. 8:31)?

He continues in Romans, presenting evidence, proving that God will strengthen us to endure every trial. "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us" (Rom. 8:32-34).

Then Paul concludes with the fact that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ; therefore, no trial is too great to overcome. "Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? . . . But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:35-39).

Overcoming trials is about God, not about you! As long as you faithfully serve God, He'll strengthen you to overcome every trial.

This Principle Applies To Everything
No matter what you do in service to God, this principle is applicable: It's about God, not about you!

Jesus is the vine, God is the vinedresser, and you are a branch. Jesus says, "'I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing'" (Jn. 15:5).

As God's child and Jesus' disciple, you can do nothing apart from Jesus. Therefore, everything you do is about God and about Jesus -- it's not about you!

Depend On God
Since it's all about God, you should depend on Him for everything.

Like the old song, Leaning On the Everlasting Arms, says:

What have I to dread, what have I to fear, Leaning on the Everlasting arms?
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, Leaning on the everlasting arms.

So remember, trust in God, serve Him faithfully, and don't be afraid or dread the things you must do as a Christian. Just lean on the everlasting arms of Jesus.

It's about God, not about you!