Our strength does not come by gritting our teeth. It doesn't come by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. It won't be wrought with statements of self-affirmation—"Yes, I can!" The strength Paul described to Timothy doesn't come from within. We only become strong through the grace that is in Jesus Christ.
Just like the old hymn says, grace is truly amazing. Consider how many ways grace works in our lives: We are saved by grace. We are justified by grace. We are sanctified by grace. We are to live every moment of every day by grace. And we are empowered by grace to overcome every struggle that comes our way in our daily lives. However, we must take hold of the grace God offers us.
We are empowered by grace to overcome every struggle that comes our way in our daily lives.
We are all prone to forget about Jesus. We have fickle memories. Our lives are filled with distractions, and we have busy schedules. That's why, all too often, we forget what the power of Christ can accomplish in our lives. How many times have you found yourself in a challenging situation, facing an unsolvable problem—only to respond with panic, anger, or blame? How often we forget to call upon the Lord and ask for His wisdom in our times of need!
Paul knew his disciple Timothy was prone to discouragement, self-pity, and the temptation to surrender—just as we are—so he wrote to him from the depths of a Roman dungeon and urged him to remember Jesus, to be strong in the grace of God, and to never give up the fight.
How do we begin to do this in our daily lives? We start by immersing ourselves in the Scriptures and dwelling on God's Truth. The Bible delivers God's promises to us afresh and reminds us of the beautiful story He is writing with our lives. Are you lonely? God's Word will comfort you. Are you burdened with guilt? God's Word will set you free. Are you full of bitterness and resentment? God's Word will show you how to forgive. Are you discouraged? God's Word will lift your spirit. Are you lost? God's Word will light your way back to Him.
You can know triumph in times of defeat. You can know peace in the midst of chaos. And when fear, shame, and discouragement threaten your joy, you can stand strong in the grace of God.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the gifts of Your Spirit who gives me strength and Your Word that reveals Your sure promises. I have hope because You are with me. Your grace uplifts me and gives me courage. Grant me boldness to serve You and Your Kingdom. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 2:1).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon series Never Give Up: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW