Likewise, spiritual strength building will require daily disciplined practices designed to stretch our commitment until it hurts and increase our endurance for understanding God’s wisdom and how He governs our life circumstances and relationships.
When Paul sent Timothy on a mission to build up the churches, Timothy ran into many problems and conflicts that may have caused him to question his gifts and the sufficiency of God’s intervention.
Timothy was challenged to “stir up [or rekindle] the gift of God” within him. He did not need more of God; he only needed greater wisdom and confidence to use his gifts without hesitation. The Spirit of God, which was not a “spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:7), dwelt within him.
Timothy had to forget the notion of popularity, stop being ashamed of “the testimony of the Lord,” and commit to “suffering for the gospel according to the power of God” (1:8), just as Paul was doing. Timothy needed to “retain the standard of sound words which [he had] heard from [Paul], in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (1:13).
In addition, he had to avoid some faithless church members, like Phygelus and Hermogenes (2 Tim 1:15) and associate with faithful believers, like Onesiphorus and his household (1:15–16).
Timothy was commanded to “be strong,” or “be enabled, capacitated, strengthened,” especially “in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” The actual grace “that is in Christ Jesus” is to become the grace motivation for our actions as well. This transfer of grace occurs when we act like Him in obedience by forgiving those who hurt or disappoint us.
Grace is received by resting in the “comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Cor 1:4) to endure all things.
In Paul’s worst moment, he knew Christ was with him, as in his trial before Caesar: “The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it” (2 Tim 4:17).
Someone once said, “One with Jesus is a majority.” With our Partner at our side, we can take on any task or any foe. How can you be strengthened by grace today?
“Lord, the grace that filled Your life is flowing in my life as well, according to Your word. I believe I can endure and persevere in my situation by Your grace and presence with me. Thank You, Lord.”