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Strength You Didn't Know You Had
By Joel Osteen - Feb 20, 2015

One time, I was at home lifting weights by myself. I was lying on a bench doing the bench press using a barbell. I was on my last set of five, using a very heavy weight. I did number one, two and three. Everything was fine. But on rep number four, it got very hard. I could barely lift the barbell. I thought to myself, "Okay, I'm going to go ahead and try number five, but I don't know if I can do it." I started rep number five and got about halfway up and got stuck. I pushed and pushed and pushed. I gave it everything I had, but that weight wouldn't budge. I couldn't do it. I was about to set the weight down on the safety rails so I could get out from under it when I realized that Jonathan was home from college and had moved the safety rails lower to suit him. I forgot to check them before I started. Now I've got all this weight on my chest, and I'm totally out of energy. I couldn't shake it off to one side or the other. There were clamps on the end of the barbells. At times before, I've rolled it down my chest to my stomach, but I couldn't do it with this heavy weight. My first thought was, "How long can I keep this weight off of me before it crushes me?" I thought, "Probably about a minute or two." My next thought was, "I've already wasted 30 seconds!"

As I sat there contemplating what I should do, something rose up in me and said, "Joel, you are not going to let this weight crush you. You are not going to let your family come in here and find you squashed. This is not the end of your story." I pushed on the right side with all of my might. The left side caught the lower safety rail, and I scooted about an inch. I rested a few seconds and pushed again on that right side, scooted another inch. And another. And another. Eventually, I was able to get my shoulder out from the bench, then my chest, and finally, I fell to the ground and that barbell was caught by the lower rail. When I got up, my chest was a little scraped and my back was a little bruised, but at least I was still alive. I looked at that weight and said, "You didn't defeat me. I'm still standing!"

Here's my point: When you're in a tough time, you can't sit around thinking about all the negative things that could happen. You can't think about that bad break and how unfair it was. "I can't believe I got this sickness." "I can't believe they left me." "I can't believe this weight is on me." You can either choose to let that trial crush you, or you can have a warrior mentality and do what you've got to do—push, scoot, stretch, squirm, wiggle, refocus, get your second wind and beat that thing!

Are you letting something defeat you because you don't think you have the strength to overcome? If you'll have this warrior mentality and do what you can do, God will help you do what you cannot do. Remember, God has armed you with strength for every battle. Keep praying, keep believing, keep pressing through because with God, you will tap into strength you didn't know you had!

"You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me." (Psalm 18:39, NIV)

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