“Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1 NLT).

Paul’s second letter to Timothy is a letter of encouragement from a father to his spiritual son. The affection Paul has for Timothy is evident, yet so is his desire to see him strengthened in his walk. Paul had learned to depend on the grace he received from abiding in Christ to be his strength when all else failed him. As he wrote to the believers in Philippi, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). Yet, how do we call on this strength?
It has been my experience that the strength of which Paul speaks is available at the very moment when I make myself available. I have gotten up from a sickbed on many a Sunday morning, taken a shower, dressed and arrived at the church weak as water. Yet, when I stepped into the pulpit a power beyond my own radiated and surged within me, enabling me to preach. If I had not shown up, I would not have experienced this power. I have found that the strengthening of Christ lies just at the point where my strength has run out. The way to tap into that power is a decision to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power” (Eph. 6:10) when your strength is gone.
If we are to experience this strength that comes from abiding in Christ, we must attempt things that are beyond us, trusting that we can be strong in Christ.