During any crisis, you may hear the phrase, “God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers.”
Perhaps this quote, placed on a solid-color or aesthetically pleasing social media backdrop, sought to encourage you to press on amidst the difficulties of this tumultuous season. But, similar to phrases like, “God helps those who help themselves,” this mantra does not appear anywhere in Scripture.
In fact, we could do ourselves harm by believing in the quote, “God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers.” Although the phrase may appear to be encouraging—even harmless—the ideas held within are anything but biblical.
Let’s dive into what Scripture actually says, what the Bible tells us about strength in the midst of adversity, and how we need to rely on God’s strength and not our own.
3 Reasons Why This Saying Isn't in the Bible
Let’s break down the phrase to understand why this does not align with Scripture.
1. It's dangerous to compare our battles.
First, let’s analyze the word “toughest.” Toughest seems to put the struggles of a Christian on a pedestal. That somehow encountering a trial (that we may deem more difficult by human standards) elevates us to a higher rank than other Christians. For instance, my Grandma passed away recently. But my friend has lost her Mom recently. My friend may say, “Well, my trial is more difficult than yours, so I’m a tougher soldier than you.”
Scripture warns us against playing the comparison game (Galatians 6:4-6). Comparison is a cancer, and it eats away at our joy.
And we can’t objectively measure toughness. My struggle with singleness as a hopeless romantic is going to be far different than someone who is single and feels lukewarm about a relationship. Because I struggle and they don’t does not make me any less tough of a soldier. And the fact that they may struggle with a sin such as pornography and I do not, does not weaken them as a soldier.
2. Where does our strength come from?
Second, let’s talk about the word, strongest. We’ll dive more into this below, but the depiction of humanity in Scripture is a far cry from strength. Our ideas of self-reliance and pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps aren’t biblical at all.
Paul, one of the “strongest soldiers” in the Christian hall of fame, frequently talks about his weakness (2 Corinthians 12). Jesus calls our flesh weak (Matthew 26:41), in other words, we can’t be self-reliant.
Not only do we risk peril when we say we can rely on ourselves, but we go against the ideas of our flesh in the Bible. We need to rely on the Lord.
3. God never leaves us in our trials.
Third, the quote removes God from the equation. It implies that he simply plops us into a battle and sits back and watches us fight.
Let me use this example: My friend, an honors student at a college, has enrolled into honors classes. The teachers have far greater expectations for those students. They receive harder tests and far more stringent guidelines on their homework—all for the sake of honors being listed next to their name on the graduation program. My friend hates this.
He has come to the realization that few people at graduation, or future employers, will care a great deal if he has “honors” by his name. He says, “Part of me wishes I wasn’t honors so my GPA wouldn’t suffer.” He doesn’t take encouragement that he’s the “strongest” student academically when he receives a test that is far harder than another student who doesn’t have the honors label.
In the same way, the verisimilitude of the warm and fuzzies we feel after reading the quote rubs off in about two seconds. If God gives us tough battles, why isn’t he fighting alongside us? Why does he leave us alone to these trials? And why can’t we just remove the “honors” badge from our label and get an easier battle?
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The Problem with Thinking We're the Strongest
Good news: God does fight for us (Exodus 14:14) and with us (Ephesians 6). And when we cannot fight, he continues to do so.
Why? Because we rely on him. We know that he gives us far more than we can handle, but when yoked with him, he can handle the burden (Matthew 11:28-30).
When we believe we can fight the battle on our own strength, we forgo our spiritual armor. We forget the reason we can even participate in any fight in the first place, because the Holy Spirit dwells inside of us.
Thinking we’re strong enough to fight leaves out our need for God. It defeats the purpose of Christianity: that we need to rely on God to transform us, comfort us, shape us, and grow us closer to him.
What Does the Bible Say about Who is Strongest?
The Bible has a funny way of turning our cultural ideas on its head. The “strongest” soldiers are the “weakest” by human standards.
The meek inherit the earth, the poor in spirit receive the kingdom of heaven, and those who mourn receive comfort.
Scripture flips the idea of “the strongest.” The weakest have the most “strength” because they rely on Christ (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Samson doesn’t regain his strength, after relying on it for so long, until he turns to God (Judges 16:29).
Scriptures about Being Strong in Hard Times
So whatdoesScripture say about strength in the midst of a difficult time, such as a global pandemic? The Bible does have a great deal to talk about when it comes to faith in hard times.
1 John 5:4 says that anyone “born of God” overcomes the world. 2 Timothy 4:7 declares that Christians who live faithfully will have fought the good fight, and won the race of life.
In other words, in the midst of the pain and suffering, we find strength in the future God has for us. We place our faith in him and rely on his promises, knowing that we have not yet reached the end.
We also find strength in knowing that God sits with us in the midst of the hurt, the pain, and the uncertainty. Not only did he live on earth and understand (He wept, after all, John 11:35), but the Holy Spirit who indwells us does not leave us alone in our darkest moments.
Does God Really Give Us Our Toughest Battles?
Once again, we have to understand the word “toughest” can apply to all the soldiers. We all experience battles that test the deepest desires of our hearts. Like Abraham, God recognizes when we’ve placed idols in front of him and our battles shake us to our core (Genesis 22).
In short, yes, we all receive our “toughest” battles in the sense that life is tough. No one comes out of it without a great deal of bruises and collateral damage from the war. Because the nature of sin and its effects on the world, to suffer is human, and we all experience hardship and uncertainty.
But praise God, he fights for us. God is the strongest warrior, and praise the Lord, when we rely on him—he can help us get through the toughest battles.
A Prayer to Rely on God's Strength
Dear Heavenly Father, I often find myself attempting to lean onto my own strength. Help me to recognize that even my so-called strength comes from you. Remind me that I need to rely on you. This life presents so many hardships and difficult battles, and Lord, I cannot fight a single day without you.
Remind me of your goodness, your promises, and your life, and that you will never forsake me. Amen.
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Hope Bolingeris an acquisitions editor at End Game Press, and the author 21+ books. More than 1400 of her works have been featured in various publications. Check out her books at hopebolinger.comfor clean books in most genres, great for adults and kids.
Where in the Bible does it say God puts his toughest soldiers through? ›
The phrase “God gives His toughest battles to His strongest soldiers” is not found in the Bible. You can look through the entire Bible, but you will not find this phrase anywhere in the pages of the Word of God. The idea of God giving different “battles” to different believers is not biblical at all.What does God's strongest soldiers mean? ›
Being one of the 'strongest soldiers' implies that we have strength of our own to fight and emerge victorious. It's saying that we can handle a tougher challenge, more so than the 'weaker' soldiers out there.What is the quote God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers? ›
DeMarcus Cousins Quotes
God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers.
Paul told Timothy to endure hardness. Enduring hardness means we should not allow ourselves to become easily discouraged. It means we are prepared for conflict at all times of the day: in the wee hours of the morning or late in the night. It means we should not back down from the threats of the enemy.What does the Bible say about God's soldiers? ›
Warriors of faith are disciples, followers
In 2 Timothy 2:3, Paul says, “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” These words, and others like them, were written metaphorically to help Christians understand the nature of our walk with Christ.
The biblical account states that Samson was a Nazirite, and that he was given immense strength to aid him against his enemies and allow him to perform superhuman feats, including slaying a lion with his bare hands and massacring an entire army of Philistines using only the jawbone of a donkey.What are God's soldiers called? ›
Heavenly host (Hebrew: צבאות sabaoth or tzva'ot, "armies") refers to the army (Luke 2:13) of angels mentioned both in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, as well as other Jewish and Christian texts.When God says the battle is his? ›
This is what the LORD says to you: `Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's. Tomorrow march down against them.What does a soldier known but to God mean? ›
Background. The phrase "Known unto God" forms the standard epitaph for all unidentified soldiers of the First World War buried in Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) cemeteries.Is Psalm 91 A Soldier's Prayer? ›
Psalm 91 is known as the Soldier's Psalm or Soldier's Prayer.
What is the scripture I fought a good fight? ›
Paul references the good fight again in 2 Timothy 4:7 where he says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Fighting the good fight of the faith is also about perseverance and continuing, even when the road is hard.What are the three soldiers mentioned in the Bible? ›
The Three are named Ishbaal the Tahkemonite ("thou will make me wise"), Eleazar ("God has helped") son of Dodo ("his beloved") the Ahohite ("brother of rest"), and Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. The Three are also mentioned in the Book of Chronicles.What makes a soldier battle-hardened? ›
(of soldiers) having experience of war and therefore effective at fighting battles Their conscript army stood no chance against the allies' battle-hardened veterans. Want to learn more?What is the characteristics of a good soldier? ›
The 3 C I's that a good soldier would display in and outside of his career with the NZA are Courage, Commitment, Comradeship and Integrity, and they create the framework of a good soldier internally and each pillar is integral to the other three, and can't exist without the others.What is a hardened soldier? ›
/ˈbætl hɑːdnd/ /ˈbætl hɑːrdnd/ (of soldiers) having experience of war and therefore effective at fighting battles. Their conscript army stood no chance against the allies' battle-hardened veterans.What does the Bible say about a good soldier? ›
And lastly, only the good soldiers get shot at; those that stand for something; for only the good soldiers are on the front line. The Apostle Paul told his spiritual son Timothy, “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus (2 Tim. 2:1)” … then he says, “Endure hardship as a GOOD soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Tim.Who did God tell he had too many soldiers? ›
Gideon had 32,000 soldiers and God told Gideon he had too many soldiers. Then God said " Go tell the men that if they are afraid that they may leave." Twenty thousand men left leaving Gideon with ten thousand men. God again appeared to Gideon and said to him, "There are still too many soldiers.What is a spiritual soldier? ›
The term spiritual warrior is used in Tibetan Buddhism for one who combats the universal enemy: self-ignorance (avidya), the ultimate source of suffering according to Buddhist philosophy.Who in the Bible lost their strength? ›
Samson confessed that he would lose his strength “if my head were shaved” (Judges 16:15- 17). While he slept, the faithless Delilah brought in a Philistine who cut Samson's hair, draining his strength.Who was the only perfect man in the Bible? ›
Jesus Christ embodies God's glory and fullness. More than that, he is the only perfect man who has ever lived.
Who in the Bible did God give strength to? ›
Yet, in God's strength, Moses led the entire nation of Israel out of their captivity in Egypt, provided them with counsel, led them in battle, and helped them obey the Lord's commands. Not only did the Lord equip him with the skills he needed to lead, but He also revealed himself to Moses in a personal way.Who is the mighty man of war in the Bible? ›
EXODUS XV. 3. The LORD is a Man of War: The LORD is His Name.Who are the soldiers of Jesus? ›
The miles Christianus (Christian soldier) or miles Christi (soldier of Christ) is a Christian allegory based on New Testament military metaphors, especially the Armor of God metaphor of military equipment standing for Christian virtues and on certain passages of the Old Testament from the Latin Vulgate.Which angel is in charge of God's army? ›
Saint Michael the Archangel
In the New Testament Michael leads God's armies against Satan's forces in the Book of Revelation, where during the war in heaven, he defeats Satan.
Faithful God, help us to trust you in these times of uncertainty. Let us rest on your words of comfort. When we are weak and overcome with fear and doubt, help us to feel your presence. Remind in our inner hearts your words to fear not; to rest assured that today you promise that you will fight our battles.When the battle is too big for you? ›
When the battle seems too big for you, that's when you know it not your battle. Its “GOD'S BATTLE.” God spoke and told him you need not fight for this battle is not yours, but mine. There is no need to fight, but stand still.What does the Bible say about the weapons of our warfare? ›
Constant PRAYER – Ephesians 6:18. Remember, all of this together forms the whole Armour of God or what we may call the weapons of our warfare. In other words, for us to be in position to really confront the power of darkness, we must put on the whole armour.What is the prayer of soldiers? ›
Dear Lord, guard my mind, my heart and my soul and lead me in the way of hope. As I serve my duty here I lean on your wisdom, your love and your strength, and look forwards to the time when a new day dawns, and I return home to the peace again. Amen.What is a true soldier? ›
A soldier is not just one person who fights in an armed force or just someone who is in the army. That doesn't even come close to the actual definition of a soldier. A soldier is someone who is willing to sacrifice his own life for the protection of his country and its citizens.What was the soldier's oath to God? ›
Obedient to the military orders, I will always protect my weapon and never lose it till death, and God will be my witness.” It is this oath that protects Egypt.
What is the soldier's prayer in the Bible? ›
Indeed Psalm 91 is quite commonly known as the soldier's psalm as it is said many soldiers in WWI recited this psalm daily. Indeed I found a story circulating that tells of a Brigade commander in WWI who gave a little card with Psalm 91 on it to his men who were in the Brigade of the same number – 91st Brigade.What does it mean to be a soldier in the LORD's army? ›
Every Christian is called to be a soldier in the army of God. Soldiers are called to counter evil with the overwhelming, overcoming good that flows from a heart in love with God. No matter what situation a Christian soldier is in, they must put faith in their commander and live by the Spirit.Who is God talking about in Psalm 91? ›
He speaks specifically over those who set their love upon Him. It has been wonderfully noted that the last words of this psalm are not spoken by God's people, but to God's people.What does he fought a good fight mean? ›
idiom. : to try very hard to do what is right. He has always fought the good fight against oppression.What does the Bible say about fighting through hard times? ›
1. Psalm 55:22 “Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” A powerful verse, Psalm 55:22 touches on how you don't have to go it alone when times are tough. Instead, turn to the Lord who will 'sustain' you and help you get through it.What does the Bible say about what we fight against? ›
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against a spiritual wickedness in high places.What is a spiritual warrior in the Bible? ›
The spiritual warrior fights against the self-delusion, fear, and ignorance that create suffering in your life. This battle is fought within; an effort to shed the chains of conditioning and false beliefs that lie within you.Who was a female warrior in the Bible? ›
In the Hebrew Bible and ancient Jewish literature, some women kill. Deborah, the only female judge of Israel, helps lead the Israelite army to war against the Canaanites. During that same war, a woman named Jael lures the Canaanite general into her tent, then kills him with a tent peg through the head.What is the biggest command in the Bible? ›
"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. ' This is the greatest and first commandment. Love God above all else. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.What motivates a soldier to fight? ›
Four main motivations to fight
fear of being punished by their superiors if they disobey orders; shame of letting down their fellow soldiers; anger directed towards an attacker; and. enthusiasm for a cause that makes them willing to risk their lives.
What are the three types of soldier? ›
A soldier can be a conscripted or volunteer enlisted person, a non-commissioned officer, or an officer.What is a soldier's greatest fear? ›
They carried the soldier's greatest fear, which was the fear of blushing. Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to. It was what had brought them to the war in the first place, nothing positive, no dreams of glory or honor, just to avoid the blush of dishonor.What makes a strong soldier? ›
These qualities include honesty, courage, self-control, decency, and conviction of purpose. This is by no means a complete list, but those are the qualities that most good soldiers possess. Let's talk about them.What is most important for a soldier? ›
Most importantly, a soldier's duty is to maintain the peace and harmony of the country. He takes on the responsibility of ensuring a safe environment for all. In addition to guarding the border, they are also always there in case of emergencies.What is the main purpose of a soldier? ›
Soldiers take part in peacekeeping missions, supporting humanitarian efforts or fighting in combat zones around the world.What are the 4 types of soldiers? ›
Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord 1878–1943
I divide my officers into four classes as follows: the clever, the industrious, the lazy, and the stupid.
In all military branches, service members are divided into two categories: enlisted or officer.What is the highest level of soldier? ›
The sergeant major of the Army, the sergeant major of the Marine Corps, the master chief petty officer of the Navy and the chief master sergeant of the Air Force are the spokespersons of the enlisted force at the highest levels of their services.Who said God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers tattoo? ›
Jalen has the quote “God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers.”Where is the Scripture endure hardness as a good soldier? ›
2 Timothy 2 1
Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs--he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules.
What Psalm is the soldiers Prayer? ›
Indeed Psalm 91 is quite commonly known as the soldier's psalm as it is said many soldiers in WWI recited this psalm daily. Indeed I found a story circulating that tells of a Brigade commander in WWI who gave a little card with Psalm 91 on it to his men who were in the Brigade of the same number – 91st Brigade.Does God put us through hard times? ›
God allows struggle and difficult times because we are sinners and we all come short of the glory of God. God loves us, but because of our sinful nature, He allows these things to happen.What did God say about getting tattoos? ›
Today they're common everywhere from Maori communities in New Zealand to office parks in Ohio. But in the ancient Middle East, the writers of the Hebrew Bible forbade tattooing. Per Leviticus 19:28, “You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves.”How God trains our hands for battle? ›
Psalm 144 1
Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.
Psalm 91: The Soldier's Psalm.What does it mean to endure hardness? ›
verb. If you endure a painful or difficult situation, you experience it and do not avoid it or give up, usually because you cannot.What does it mean to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might? ›
Verse 10 commands us to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might” (emphasis added). No human power alone can stop the devil's schemes, but God can and has already “disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him” (Colossians 2:15).What is the best prayer for soldier? ›
A prayer for those in the armed forces
Father God, We pray for all those who faithfully serve to keep, protect and preserve justice, hope and love. May you encircle them with protection, and post angels to watch over your sons and daughters as they face danger. We pray that they would have great wisdom and judgement.
O God, thou art a strong tower of defence to all who fly unto thee: O save us from the violence of the enemy. O Lord of hosts, fight for us; that we may glorify thee. O suffer us not to sink under the weight of our sins, or the violence of the enemy. O Lord, arise, help us, and deliver us, for thy name's sake.What is the soldiers prayer? ›
Oh God of Our Fathers, bless our efforts to provide the "Armament for Peace" and protect us if we must answer the call to arms to defend our faith, our liberty and our freedom. Teach us not to mourn those who have died in the service of the Corps, but rather to gain strength from the fact that such heroes have lived.
What is a powerful prayer for difficult situation? ›
Help me not to fear the future but to boldly trust that you are in control when my emotions plunge me down, and when I am in despair. And times when I can't talk and don't know what to say, help me to “Be still, and know that you are God”. Be my comforter, my healer and bring me peace. In Jesus' name, Amen.How do you trust God in tough times? ›
- Seek Truth in Scripture.
- Confess Unbelief. Be honest. ...
- Share Your Concerns With Your Community.
- Remember God and Spend Time With Him. God is bigger than your circumstances. ...
- Look for Things to Be Grateful For.
- Walk in the Holy Spirit. ...
- Wait on the Lord.
Psalm 9:9 “The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.” Similar to the previous verse, Psalm 9:9 emphasizes placing your trust in God.