through His Word
by Katy Kauffman
There were three reasons why Joshua could have been dismayed by God’s call to be the next leader of Israel: over a million Israelites, hundreds of square miles to conquer, and fearsome enemies. His assignment was to lead the people across the Jordan River to possess the land which God had promised to give them. Joshua was supposed to fill Moses’ shoes as a spiritual leader of the people, a people who had stubbornly resisted Moses’ leadership and the leadership of God.
For the great task set before Joshua, God told him three times to be strong and of good courage (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9). Joshua would need strength to overcome weakness, courage to overcome fear, and faith to overcome doubt.
Where would Joshua’s strength, courage, and faith come from? The LORD Himself. God reassured him, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you” (Josh 1:5). God’s Word would also help Joshua to lead the people. Success would come from observing God’s law, which explains how to love God and one another. Joshua had the LORD and the Word to strengthen him for the journey ahead.
When our journey seems long or the task ahead seems difficult, we have God and His Word to keep us going. He says to us, “Be strong and of good courage. I am with you.” He renews our zeal and energizes our spirits for the work and ministry He calls us to. God gives us a special resource in Christ to do our assignment, a resource that the apostle Paul encouraged Timothy, his son in the faith, to tap into.
A difficult task lay before Timothy—to preach the Word in a dangerous time, to stand for Christ in the face of fierce opposition, and to be a leader who would be targeted with persecution. So Paul told Timothy to be strong and to find in Christ everything he needed.
You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:1 NKJV)
“Be strong” is the message, not just for Timothy, but for us also. For the road that lies before you, for the work you’ve been given to do, for the relationships you’ve been entrusted with, be strong. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Depend on God’s ability to enable you. Depend on His grace.
We were never meant to travel life’s road alone. Life is a partnership with Jesus. In Christ, we have a Savior, a Friend, a Guide, and a Sustainer. Living powerfully each day means living in connection with Him. Through a close, vital relationship with Jesus—in which we abide in Him and He abides in us (John 15:4)—He supplies the strength we need for each day’s journey. The truth and love we receive from Him and the fellowship we share with Him infuse us with power to keep going. He is the One who meets our needs perfectly. Since He has all knowledge, He knows exactly what we need. Since He has all power, He has the ability to give us exactly what we need.
One of the delightful blessings of a relationship with God is that He makes His grace available to us. This grace comes in different packages. God’s grace takes the form of renewed enthusiasm when we have lost our fervor, peace when anxiety has overtaken our hearts, and a fresh perspective on a tough situation or relationship. God’s grace is a relief to our hearts and victory to our souls. His grace enables us to overcome weakness, fear, and worry. It enables us to do what we can’t do on our own.
We can draw from the love, victory, courage, and forgiveness found in Christ. His grace never runs out. When we stay close to Him and depend on Him, we will have what we need for every part of life and ministry. Ask Him for what you need.
Don’t let the situation you are facing overwhelm you. Don’t let the task ahead of you daunt you. In Christ, you can do all things (Philippians 4:13). In Christ, you find the grace for every part of life’s journey.
The principles of 2 Timothy Chapter 2 tell us how to “shape up” spiritually. How can we be spiritually fit and ready for the work God has for us to do? The first principle is:
v.1 Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
1. What forms has grace taken in your life—renewed peace, enthusiasm, strength, a fresh perspective, or something else?
2. What specific attributes of Christ do we need daily as we fight the good fight and run the race?
3. The following statements of application are taken from the Bible study devotion above. Comment below with your favorite one.
How to Fight to Win
a. Draw from God enough strength to overcome weakness, enough courage to overcome fear, and enough faith to overcome doubt.
b. Remember that the LORD Himself is with you.
c. Find strength in the Lord and His Word.
d. Go to God to renew your zeal and energize you for His work.
e. Find in Christ everything you need.
f. Don’t quit: be strong for the road that lies before you, for the work you’ve been given to do, and for the relationships you’ve been entrusted with.
g. Live life as a partnership with Jesus—He is your Savior, your Friend, your Guide, and your Sustainer.
h. Live powerfully each day by living in connection with Jesus.
i. Don’t let any situation overwhelm you or any task daunt you, because you have Christ.
j. Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, grace that …
- renews our enthusiasm
- gives us peace and a fresh perspective
- overcomes our weakness, fear, and worry
- enables us to do what we can’t do on our own
- provides love, victory, courage, and forgiveness
- never runs out
- gives us what we need for every part of life’s journey
Dear God, strengthen me with the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Help me to depend on Him to face every situation and challenge. Remind me that You are always with me, and that You enable me to do the assignment You have given me. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Which of the "How to Fight to Win" statements do you like the most?
*Author’s Note: This Bible study devotion is an adapted excerpt from 2 Timothy: Winning the Victory (Buford, Georgia: Lighthouse Bible Studies, 2013), pages 69-73. All rights reserved.
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