We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Kelly Bryant.
1 Timothy 1:12-17
12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Have you ever had that feeling of stepping up to a bar you know you can’t lift? Maybe your mind replayed the other times you’ve tried to get that weight and missed. You mentally go through a checklist of all the things that could go wrong. Maybe you even think about some of those lifting fail videos on social media with barbells hurdling through the drywall of someone’s garage or knocking the lifter in the forehead. What if instead when you stepped up to that bar, you could summon the power of a top Olympic lifter?
Go ahead, insert the mental image of your favorite Tokyo Olympics-bound athlete. That’s exactly the feeling that Paul is describing in our scripture passage today. Paul, who blasphemed the name of Christ, persecuted Christians, and even described himself as the worst of sinners, was greatly used by God.
If stepping up to salvation was like stepping up to a barbell, Paul would be the very last person you’d expect to make the lift. Yet, even in Paul’s weakness, Jesus had mercy on him. Jesus chose Paul and empowered him with HIS strength.
Just like that barbell, there are many things in life that we just can’t lift on our own. We can try our best, study our hardest, prepare as much as humanly possible…and still fail. Maybe you’re facing a situation like that in your life right now. You’ve tried everything you can think of, but the load won’t budge. If that’s you right now, let me invite you to step back from the barbell and call out to the One who holds all power.
When you step up to your situation with Christ, you can have confidence that HIS strength in you is enough to handle any load. It’s his power working through your weakness that makes true strength possible.
Father, I thank you that your strength steps in for me despite my sin and my weakness. When I face a situation that looks impossible to me, I can rest in the confidence that you are with me. In you all things are possible. I thank you for choosing me as a vessel for your power and your presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Instead of thinking of your limitations as weaknesses, consider them an opportunity for God to show his strength through you. When you face a situation that intimidates you or feels impossible to conquer, remember that you don’t have to face it alone. Call out to your heavenly Father and rely on his strength.
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