The devotional is kind of based on how I’m feeling at the moment.
In 2 Timothy 2:1, Paul is telling Timothy, “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
This is Paul’s directive to Timothy in his last letter. He was going to die and he knew it. Even so, he was looking to Christ. And Timothy, who was his son in the faith, was also going through a difficult time. Timothy was, as history tells us, the pastor at the church in Ephesus.
Anyone who knows a pastor knows that it can be a difficult job sometimes.
Paul and Timothy helped establish the Ephesian Church, as we are told in Acts 18: 19- 19:41. They spent a lot of time there. Ephesus was the biggest city in Asia Minor at the time. John, the Beloved apostle, would also pastor there. according to history.
A lot of things were working against this church: Worship of the false god Diana (Artemis), smaller shrines, idol worship in general, amongst other things. The general community felt that this new gospel was working against their livelihood, especially those working at the temples and selling small idols. Those trying to spread the Good News had a definite uphill battle, fighting both a economic and spiritual war.
Paul would write what we know as the book of Ephesians from a Roman jail cell. In the 6th chapter, he describes the spiritual warfare a Christian goes through on a daily basis. Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in
the Lord and in His mighty power.
Then again, in 2 Timothy, he’s telling Timothy it isn’t going to be easy.
Paul was right. If you’re alive you know that it isn’t easy all the time. Paul knew it. Timothy knew it. Most of all, Jesus knows it. He has given us grace to make it through the tough times.
Pastor Stephen Widener
If you are going through a tough time, be sure to contact Stephen Widener for biblical counsel. firstname.lastname@example.org
Other biblical references for comfort during difficult times:
Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Him (Christ Jesus) Who gives me strength.
Isaiah 40:29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Psalm 46:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. 8 The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.