In 2 Timothy 2:1 Paul writes to Timothy, “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” Paul had faced desertion and difficulty as he suffered in his final Roman imprisonment. Abandoned by friends and even those he had won to Christ, Paul wrote this final admonition and encouragement to Timothy, his son in the ministry. Several affirmations arise from this verse that I hope will encourage you today.
- We often need strength. There are times we are all weak and tired. Timothy faced the challenge of pastoring, the burden of Paul’s imprisonment and the difficulty of Christians abandoning Paul. Our strength doesn’t come from effort, but from grace.
- We definitely need grace. We are helpless without God’s help. We deserve death, suffering and hell. But by God’s grace, we have life, hope and heaven. We have unmerited favor because of Christ Jesus. God’s saving grace and daily grace will strengthen us.
- We daily need the gospel. Our experience of grace and strength comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. We are not strong enough or good enough on our own to make it. We need Christ and the reminder of the gospel everyday.
- We need to give the grace that we’ve received. Don’t be guilty of hoarding grace for yourself. What do I mean? Well, it is easy to give yourself grace for bad behavior while holding others to a higher standard. We should give away grace to others. I don’t mean we ignore truth. After all, grace is based on the gospel which tells the shattering truth about our sinfulness. But, as followers of Jesus, we should be quick to offer grace.
I don’t know what you’re facing today. Maybe a personal difficulty? Maybe frustration at the tumultuous political climate? Maybe an immovable obstacle? Maybe a pattern of sinful behavior? Maybe doubt and discouragement from your past? In whatever you face, pursue the strength of grace that comes through the gospel of Jesus Christ.