“May you be strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, for all endurance and patience with J O Y.”
In it of myself, I cannot do good. I am weak and I do not have the ability to run my race with all endurance and with joy. An athlete spends years perfecting their skills, strengthening their bodies, and training in order to win, and as much as believers need to train and run to win, we also have a gracious and loving father who calls us to come and be filled now. 2 Timothy 2:2 says, “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” That phrase, “be strengthened,” literally means to draw our strength from. God knows that we cannot live life on our own. We cannot empower ourselves. We will run out of strength, we will give up, we will lose the joy of our salvation. The weakness of our flesh is inescapable, but the strength of Jesus and his overflowing grace is overcoming, empowering, and captivating. Be strengthened according to HIS might, according to the riches of HIS grace. Hosea 11:3 says, “Yet it was I who taught Ephraim how to walk, I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I had healed them.” One of my biggest downfalls is not recognizing God’s strength and grace in my life. I am independent and strong willed. I think that I have made myself whole and I forget that it was Him who took me out of the pit and cleansed my heart. It is God who breathes life into my bones. It is God who picks me up when I fall. It is God who carries me when I am too exhausted to even try and carry myself. May we not forget our Savior and all that he does, all that he is doing, and all that he will do. The thought of God, the creator of the universe, stooping down low to hold my hand, to look into my eyes, to be near to me and pour out grace upon grace upon me, leaves me in absolute awe and wonder. Jesus wants me. He wants a wretched woman like me to be his beloved daughter. That fact gives me life and joy, pure joy. I do not deserve anything, but God has given me everything. So I will run, and I will run to win. And winning does not mean finishing first and with the fewest mistakes. Winning is allowing God to take my ugly, wayward ways and make them beautiful. It is surrendering my pride and weaknesses, for the beautiful exchange of his power and his grace. It is not about how often you fall, but how you get up when you fall. Thank you Jesus for loving me and making me STRONG.
Application: I often forget all that God has done for me and instead, I become caught up in my present struggles. Tonight, I will read through my old journal and thank God for all that he has done for me.