"You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." 2 Timothy 2:1 (NIV)
So many times we're bombarded by trials and tempted to lose hope.
This morning I thought about my daughter-in-law who's now home with baby Peyton, and it seems--after all they've been through this past week, some kind of "Murphey's Law" is at work. The air conditioning decided to break, then the dishwasher. And now the car brakes need replacing. Household repairs scream for dollars during a time they're still wondering how to pay the hospital bills. Things like that frazzle my nerves, so I empathized and reminded her that God, though, has never failed to meet our needs. And then I read a timely devotional by Elisabeth Elliot this morning that sets my heart on course. She says, when faced with troubles, we need to "take strength." These two little words can be "spiritual adrenaline for us when we need them, " she says. Amen.
Elliot also reminds us that these words (2 Tim. 2:1) were written by a man who knew what he was talking about. While he himself was in prison, he wrote to a young minister who also suffered, and probably experienced fear, doubt, and uncertainty of his call. The Apostle Paul admonishes him very lovingly to take his share of hardship like a good soldier, and to take strength from the grace of God.
So how do we get this strength for today? Tomorrow? This coming year? Elliot says, "Take it!" We're to take it from the grace which is already ours in Christ Jesus. He gives to sustain. We take.
"This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. " 2 Timothy 9-10