It was Bob Marley who said, “You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.” 

No one wants to determine the degree of courage they are capable of. It’s frightening to question the unknown depths of our strength. To face a journey we can’t fathom traveling. To stare down the villains of grief, divorce, lost jobs, addiction, and more.

bodybuilder-weight-training-stress-38630The doubt within us lurks believing others have the strength superpower. We believe we were absent while the capes were being handed out.

Nonetheless, it is inevitable the day will come when as Bob Marley said, “Being strong is your only choice.”

How then do we survive the most difficult challenge’s God has designed to shape us, deliver our purpose, increase our emotional muscle and lead us closer to Him?

1. Faith:

We must become spiritual bodybuilders when life severely tests us. God is our ultimate source of strength. It is God who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. Each time the burdens increase we must continue lifting them up towards God until the weight seems easier to lift.

This is easier said than done. We feel left alone when experiencing pain. This sense of isolation can often make us feel abandoned even by God. Of course, this isn’t true and the more we experience this type of suffering, the more we feel compelled to turn towards Him. Thus, internally igniting a far deeper peace and fortitude.

2. Family:

The love of family fortifies our spirit. It generates a bravery within us just realizing  love-filled armor surrounds us. This safety net reminds us there are those who will never abandon us even despite our troubles. The ones in our life who accept our weaknesses and mistakes. Even better? They are willing to roll up their sleeves and aid us in tackling our problems. To fill in the gaps in our lives when our hardiness temporarily evades us.

Love is the most powerful source of strength next to God.

3. Overcoming Obstacles:

In a time of crisis or in ordinary time, the might of removing obstacles builds our emotional energy. It does this boulder by boulder and day by day. It can be an arduous and slow process depending on how we are being tested. The first several challenges may appear daunting, yet with time they lose their “Giant” like status as we break them down one by one.

Our sturdiness elevates as we greet setbacks and problems which we once feared. The end result is a substantial boost to our self-esteem and self-reliance. Confidence steamrolls weakness.


pexels-photo-1364104. Heartache and Enduring Pain:

Heartache and enduring pain build some of our most powerful muscle. They proffer  the tears that manifest the erosion of weakness. This type of brawn is earned by the unbearable endurance of the heart traveling a terrifying road. It requires the heart to be involuntarily compelled to face an unimaginable truth.

The prolonged suffering eventually circumvents vulnerability and empowers us. Somehow we have survived the unimaginable. We derive a sense of durability from this devastating pain.

5. Building Something New:

Whether provoked by the necessity of hardship or inspired by simple change, constructing new world heights promises increased resilience. When we tackle something new we are building additions to our core internal housing. It is a sad reality that heartache can result in forced changes in our lives. It may require a new job or a move or many other demands. Often, producing options we may not have otherwise chosen for ourselves.

The ability to commandeer these new experiences continue to layer our Legos of confidence. We become stronger realizing that even while experiencing intense vulnerability we have persevered.


The inevitable truth is our own fragility inspires renewed vigor. It is in our most powerless moments where we learn to pack the hardest punch against self-doubt. Fear peels back the layers of our being. It offers an inventory of what truly scales our lives with love and meaning.

Fear prohibits strength and therefore, God ensures we become the people of empowered purpose He means us to be.


(Photos courtesy of Pexels)

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