We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Bruce Sampson.
“… for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7
I remember the time when I first went off for college. I was the wild child of the family that always had aspirations of going somewhere far away from home to go to school. That’s why I moved from Houston, Texas to Savannah, Georgia to get my bachelors of fine arts. In those times I felt like my parents were setting up interventions every night to talk about the things I should look out for when I go to college. The concern and deep care they had for me to succeed surpassed my own awareness of what I might come across as a 18 year old kid in a new city.
It’s in the same final moments that Paul is writing this letter to his spiritual son, Timothy, as he goes off to plant more churches for the sake of sharing the message of Jesus. As he recounts the beginnings of Timothy’s growth, he recognizes the call on his life in ministry through the shared faith between his mother and grandmother passing the torch to him. Because of the certain sufferings Timothy will face ahead, Paul instructs him on how to endure in his faith amongst persecution and hardship.
Paul says, “for this reason”. Because he sees how God has already been at work in Timothy and through the generations before him. For that reason Paul brought to mind the gift God has given, not exclusive to Timothy, but given to us all as children of God. It’s a gift of grace that God gives us to endure through suffering. It’s backed by the power of the spirit of God working in us.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
The power we gain to endure in the days ahead is by looking back to God’s faithfulness in how he suffered in our place in the person of Christ. His spirit is at work in us to have power known only through surrender, a love perfected in sacrifice, and a self-control that is humble to God. Wherever fear is present in our lives, his spirit can testify to someone greater living in us.
Thank you Jesus for giving us the means to face our fears. We know power because of what you have done on the cross. Help us to trust in your spirit to endure through hardship and to grow closer to you. It’s in your name that we pray, amen.
Spend time reflecting and journaling:
- Who has been an influence in your faith? How can you continue to seek their counsel to grow in your faith?
- How can you walk with someone else in their hardship today?
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