2 Timothy 2:1 – You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
How easy it is to get discouraged in life. One minute you are on the mountaintop and the next you are in the valley. It’s like being on a plane that suddenly loses altitude. Your ears pop. You get queasy in the stomach. You feel totally out of control.
Sometimes I feel that way as a preacher. I can preach a powerful and effective sermon but it can all be undone in a moment with a careless word from someone else.
That is what happened to Elijah. He won a powerful victory in the Lord when he challenged the priest of Baal and Asherah. God sent fire down to consume Elijah’s sacrifice. The false priest were put to death. And then Jezebel had to open her mouth and Elijah found himself fleeing to Horeb.
It is in moments like this that I have to find my center in Christ. I find myself on my knees praying and looking for a renewed spirit. I search for God to give me the right thing to do and to say to try to correct the situation.
Grace is a key to finding your strength. You must remember that Jesus has removed the obstacle of sin. Death is no longer the consequence. Fear is no longer a problem because God did not give us a spirit of fear but a power, love, and self-discipline. It is through the power of Grace that we have strength to conquer the valley and appreciate the mountaintop experiences.
A.W. Pink said, “Growth in grace is growth downward. It is the forming of a lower estimate of ourselves. It is a deepening realization of our nothingness. It is a heartfelt recognition that we are not worthy of the least of God’s mercies.” You see, the strength of grace is in realizing that without it we are nothing. And with it we can obtain all things in Christ and for his kingdom.
The same is true of my weight loss journey. Everyday I struggle and fight to maintain or lose weight. Some days are mountaintop experiences. Some days are a struggle just to walk the valley path. But in all I find my center in Jesus and fight the battle through the strength of his grace. Without his grace all my efforts are fruitless and in vain. And with God’s grace I can achieve because the victory is already won.
Dear God, I praise you for the wonderful experience I have enjoyed in following you. And I am grateful for your grace and love that sustains me in the valley. Give me the strength to keep going and the show me how to bring light and strength to other who are struggling. Thank you for Jesus Christ. Thank you for the hope of what is to come. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“There are two ways of getting out of a trial. One is simply to try to get rid of the trial, and be thankful when it is over. The other is to recognize the trial as a challenge from God to claim a larger blessing than we have ever had, and to hail it with delight as an opportunity of obtaining a larger measure of divine grace.”