“The strength of your faith is not measured by the absence of doubt, but by the faithfulness of your life in the face of doubt.”Nicky Gumbel
If you only had one word to describe “Life” what would it be?
Life can be described in so many ways as it is subjective to our own perception. Some would describe life as a grind, challenging or tough. Some would even say, “Life is unfair.” Others might argue that life is awesome.
I believe the vast majority of these descriptions would be respectively agreed upon and found to be true depending on what season of life we are currently living.
However we choose to describe life something inside of us helps us manage through the difficult times. We always find a way to keep it together and persevere through the most challenging facets.
Through the good the bad and the ugly of life God remains faithfully at our side and never waivers, never slumbers or fails.
The Apostle Paul not only experienced this firsthand, but used his encounter with weakness to influence others after he learned that God’s grace would suffice.
Grace provides Sufficient Strength
2Timothy 2:1-2 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.
Paul could have said so many things here as he writes his last letter to young Timothy not knowing if they would meet again. Instead, he teaches about the strength that can only be provided by grace that is in Christ Jesus.
These last words feel as if he is referring to his personal encounter with God mentioned in 2Corinthians 12:9;
When our strength runs thin I am glad we can call upon a supplemental strength that is provided through God’s grace. We will not always be removed from facing the challenge, rather we are strengthened in the thick of it.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Grace provides the Endurance of a Soldier
2Timothy 2:3-4 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.
Endurance comes with a price tag that many would walk away from. The only way to produce perseverance is in the testing of our faith. Paul extends a sincere yet dangerous invitation to Timothy. He openly invites him to a life of enduring pain and suffering for building the Kingdom.
In the moments when we are most likely to quit we persevere and develop endurance. What was once a testing moment will then become a testimony.Tweet
If you are contemplating quitting, remember that God’s grace provides the endurance of a good soldier seeking not to please people but his commanding officer.
Grace provides the Discipline of an Athlete
2Timothy 2:5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.
Professional athletes compete on the highest level against the best in the world. The only way to prepare for such an engagement is by living a lifestyle of continuous discipline.
Paul compares the discipline of a christian to the discipline of a high performing athlete. He was not chasing after a crown that will not last, but a crown of righteousness that will be awarded by the righteous Judge.
God is faithful to his promises. Through grace we can remain disciplined striving for a life that pleases our heavenly father.
Grace provides the Patience of a Farmer
2Timothy 2:6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.
It seems as of late patience lacks substantially more each day. Developing patience can only come through God’s grace because the waiting period can be the most frustrating of seasons.
Paul understood well the waiting season as he refers to the farmer awaiting his crops. In God’s grace we find patience during the calm stillness and the absence of certainty and direction. It requires grace to patiently await for God’s voice to respond.
We learn to trust God through patience in the spiritual waiting room. After all, the professor never speaks while the student is taking the test.Tweet
Psalms 27:13-14 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
God’s grace indeed is sufficient for all our needs. Mentally, spiritually and physically Jesus stands as the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
“A faithful God does not expect you to do what you cannot; He supplies the needed strength.”Erwin W. Lutzer