by Bible League International
Verse of the Day and Devotion
You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. – II Timothy 2:1 NKJV
The trials, troubles, tribulations, and persecutions that we encounter in life can be many. They can also be severe. The Apostle Paul, for example, wrote his letter to Timothy from prison. Even worse, he wrote when many of those that should have supported him at that point in his life turned away from him instead. Indeed, he said that all “those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.” (II Timothy 1:15) If it weren’t for people like Onesiphorus, who “was not ashamed of my chain,” he would have been totally abandoned. (II Timothy 1:16)
Given what can happen to us in the sinful and evil world that we live in, it’s important to be strong. Even though the trials and troubles can get to us, even though they can wear us down, we can’t give up and we can’t give in. Although we may be tired and worn out, we can’t just throw up our hands and let things like shame dictate our course of action. Knowing the temptations to give up, Paul felt the need to exhort Timothy to “not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God.” (II Timothy 1:8)
Although it’s important to be strong, the strength in question is key. In our verse for today, Paul did not urge Timothy to be strong in and of himself. He urged him to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” The last thing that’s needed when the trials and tribulations of life come along is an attempt to deal with them in the power of one’s own strength. It’s because that kind of strength isn’t good enough. It isn’t strong enough. Eventually it wears out. Eventually, it ceases to support what needs to be supported. People can surrender to things like shame when they rely on that kind of strength.
If we do what Paul told Timothy to do, if we rely on the grace of Christ Jesus instead of our own strength, then we can be what we need to be under even the most trying of circumstances. We can be what Paul told Timothy to be: “a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (II Timothy 2:3)