Many times we are encouraged by words such as, Be Strong, Live Strong, Stay Strong Bro., and so many other words added to Being Strong in the midst of a difficult situation or a challenge that we may feel like we are going to fail or fall under the extreme circumstances. We hear what our relative, neighbor, friend, acquaintance, co-worker, coach, spiritual leader, or teacher said, yet, when we leave the presence of that encouraging person we begin to search out in our minds of how we are going to Be Strong in the midst of our dilemma.
When we find ourselves alone wrestling with the thoughts of what we experienced. We say to ourselves, how am I going to get out of this? Why did this have to happen to me? Why now? What did I do to deserve this? I was doing the best that I could do and all of a sudden…she left me! My mom died…my son was killed…my husband cheated on me…I was rejected for financial aid for college so there goes my dreams of becoming successful…I was fired because my company went bankrupt…The rent is due and so are the car payments…not to mention the credit card bills! How am I going to make it? Why did all hell break-loose in my life? How can I Be Strong? What must I do to remain Strong? Who is going to be there for me? Who can I turn to for help?
Being told to Be Strong is one thing, knowing where to Be Strong is another!!! Paul told Timothy, So you, my son, Be Strong (strengthened inwardly) in the Grace (spiritual blessing) that is [to be found only] in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:1 Amplified Bible).
Knowing where to Look
Paul told Timothy where to look for strength. The Amplified Bible said, Be Strong (strengthened inwardly), inner strength we draw from will keep us in a sound state of mind in the midst of a crisis situation. For example, when Job lost his businesses, his workers, his properties and his children (See Job chapters 1-2 NKJV). What kept him stabilized was his ability to evaluate and assess the damage and find out the cause of the situation. After he was hit with an illness he received another blow and then his own wife came against him she told him after all this trouble we’ve experienced why do you still maintain your integrity to God, curse God and die (Job 2:9 NKJV). I love Job’s response he said, what? Shall we accept [only] good at the hand of God and shall we not accept [also] misfortune and what is of a bad nature? In [spite of] all this, Job did not sin with his lips (Job 2:10 AMP).
Although Timothy did not go through an extreme crisis situation like Job experienced. Paul not only told Timothy where to look for strength within, but to seek it in the Grace that is found in Jesus Christ. Timothy was facing challenges that a Minister faces when dealing with a lost leader Paul—Paul was arrested, the responsibility of trying to Pastor a Church in the city of Ephesus by himself without Paul’s help and newly appointed elders was stressful, and the persecution that was taking place at that city and the ongoing idol worship that’s been going on for years was too much for the young Minister. There was also the false teachers and false teaching that was rising up against him and the possibility of being arrested for preaching the gospel was in the back of his mind. All these challenges will make any Minister stress despite the good their trying to do in presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Instructions of how to Be Strong
I love Paul’s explanation of knowing how to [Be Strong]. Paul points to Jesus as THE SOURCE OF OUR STRENGTH and the Grace we can draw from HIM that will enable us to move forward in our faith in God. Then Paul describes some of the practical approaches that a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer exercises’ to become an effective person or professional. Soldiers give up civilian lifestyles to encounter rigorous training and discipline; Athletes train hard, follow strict diets and leave the night life alone to rest and rejuvenate their bodies in order to compete and finally, farmers work hard preparing the ground, planting the seeds and maintain the ground moist as they patiently wait for crops to grow.
Paul was trying to share parallels that apply to Ministers today that we must implement to be successful Ministers. We desire to win the battles in our lives but don’t want to get properly trained to do it. We desire to win victoriously but we don’t train hard for it or change our diet or fast. We want to reap in a harvest of Blessings but don’t want to put in the necessary work reading Scripture and studying the Word of God that’s required to gain that harvest. But I’m not a Minister Manuel? Yes you are! A Minister is a servant we are on the earth to serve. We serve at work being a great employee to help the company function and reap in profits. We serve as a big or small business owner and we serve our clients. We serve as parents by nurturing our children we serve them breakfast, lunch and dinner and if they’re young we have to wash their bodies. We serve all the time we just don’t define it that way but Scripture does.
Jesus said, if anyone serves Me, he must continue to follow Me [to cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying] and wherever I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him (John 12:26 Amplified Bible).
Jesus shared the example of us being a servant as HE was and to follow HIS example. Paul said to BE STRONG in the GRACE that’s found in JESUS CHRIST. The only way we can develop a sense of serving God Our Heavenly Father is to read and study Jesus’ approach to serving God Our Heavenly Father. Paul shared practical examples of the disciplines of a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer because those were the most titles that were recognizable and achievable in that time that we can draw from as common examples of hard workers. Being Strong like them will enable us to be encouraged to remain focused and persistent to achieve the desired goal set before us to be successful.
Grace in Jesus Christ
I like to share testimony because we learn better if we hear someone today practically applying and experiencing God’s Blessing. At least I do, and I know others who have taken what I shared and applied it and experienced the Power of God in their own lives. All Glory to God!
Grace in Jesus Christ is simply the Divine Strength, Ability, and Power that’s grant to us at the very moment we need it to do the Will of God on earth. Paul directed us to pray for more Grace. Let us then approach the throne of Grace with confidence, so that we may receive MERCY and find GRACE to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16 NIV).
Paul always applied what he taught, when Paul suffered from the thorn in the flesh he prayed 3 times for more Grace. We know by his explanation that God told him His Grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NKJV). However, Paul was operating on Great Grace the 4th Dimension of Grace so that’s why God said what he said to Paul (Acts 4:33 NKJV).
Nevertheless, those of us who are not operating on the 4th Dimension of Grace we need to tap into the Power of Grace that’s found in Jesus Christ as we simply apply the praying part of the process of us obtaining Grace that’s found in Jesus Christ (the inner strength) that Paul was trying to get Timothy to practically apply.
Practical Applications the 5 steps to Being Strong
1. We are to Be Strong by tapping into the (inner strength) we have in Jesus Christ.
2. We are to access the inner strength by the Grace Jesus has for us.
3. We access the Strength and Grace by Prayer.
4. Then we obtain Mercy and Grace to move forward in our walk of faith.
5. Then we can practically apply ourselves in the training needed to accomplish the task that God grant us to do on the earth.
When I encounter anything in any area in my life I immediately get disappointed and angry. But I don’t remain that way I pray and meditate and the Holy Spirit always brings me to remember a Scriptural parallel that applies to my particular dilemma. Then as I meditate further the Holy Spirit will tell me to repent and ask for forgiveness and mercy because of my attitude toward the situation then to pray for the situation and then wait for God to turn the situation around.
While I’m waiting for God to turn the situation around, I’m no longer angry, I continue to walk in love, peace and joy and I treat people with kindness even if they did me wrong or if my personal life was turned upside-down and they had nothing to do with it. I go about my business doing my job effectively and God sees my integrity and blesses me further, all because I became Strong in the Grace that is found in Christ Jesus, amen. And you can do the same, so my friend in faith, Be Strong in the Grace that is found in Christ Jesus.