Strengthened by Grace


“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1 ESV)

I came across this verse in my reading recently and spent some time considering what it means to be “strengthened by grace.”

Most versions say this as “be strong in grace.”

What does this mean? How could this apply in our lives?

I considered first why Timothy might need to be strengthened by grace.

Loss of a Mentor. As Paul wrote his final letter to Timothy, his disciple and “heir-apparent”, he was facing execution. Knowing this loss of a mentor and friend would enter into his young prodigy’s life would be cause for needing grace. 

Problems at Work. Timothy also was facing a number of problems at work (ministry.) There were false teachers needing to be silenced who were attempting to discredit him at every turn.

Health/Stress Issues. In previous communication, Paul has advised Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach. This may have been stress or pressure related, rather than dietary. Most doctors tell you stop alcohol intake with stomach issues.

He is the “Next Guy”. Much is made about following in the footsteps of a strong leader. The next guy often does not succeed. Timothy finds himself in this position with the impending death of Paul.

By: Colleen McMahon

So, in light of these concerns, how would grace strengthen or make strong?

Grace not based on performance. Strength comes knowing success or failure is not the ultimate source of value.

Grace does not require perfection but allows for mistakes. Fear of not living up to a standard or expectations fade when grace is the focus.

Grace carries an identity based Christ, not popularity. Timothy would likely disappoint people in and out of the church. Wounds from our own team often hurt the most. An identity rooted in Christ will help weather those storms.

Grace defeats accusations. The number one way to defeat the lies of others and the Enemy is to know the truth.

Grace reveals the bigger pictureStrength to endure comes from a rock solid knowledge that the difficulties of life are but temporal.

In light of grace strengthening, who do we know which could use some of this strength?

All of us will have times in our lives where we can be like Paul and encourage one of our disciples to be strengthened.

All of us will have seasons where we are in need of the strength which comes from grace.

“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1 ESV)