“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Wait. Go back and read that verse again.
Do you see it?
That word means so much to me, because like you, my life is very demanding and full of struggles and frustrations and difficulties. I sat here just a bit ago and said with a sigh, “God I am tired of…” How would you fill in that prayer? Tired of the financial struggles. Tired of working hard every day and being overlooked. Tired of health problems. Tired of doing battle with family members. Tired of so many responsibilities. Tired of the struggle against sin. It is so easy to get overwhelmed and feel powerless. But God wants you and me to know that we are not powerless. Quite the contrary, as Believers in Jesus Christ, we have “incomparably great power (Ephesians 1:19),” power that comes from God. Do we really understand what that means?
When the Bible talks about power, as in our key verse, both the Hebrew and the Greek words mean “to be able; to have the power to accomplish an action.” God’s power accomplishes what He determines to do.
The power of God is on display throughout the Bible, beginning with Creation. Jeremiah 10:12 says “God made the earth by His power.” He used the same power to bring the Israelites out of Egyptian, (Exodus 32:11) and to defeat their many enemies in the wilderness and in The Promised Land. It was “the Power of the Most High [that] overshadowed” Mary to bring about the conception of Jesus (Luke 1:36). Jesus performed miracles and endured great suffering through the power of God. And Het will return “coming in the clouds with great power and glory” (Mark 13:26). Jesus promised that His Disciples would “receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” Acts 1:8). A promise He fulfilled in Acts 2, which led to mighty acts displaying the power of God through His followers.
Paul wrote about God’s “eternal power” (Romans 1:20), His “power for the salvation of everyone” (Romans 1:16), “overflowing hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13), and “[God’s ]power made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). He said that God’s “power is at work within us-[doing] immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20), and “by His power He [will] fulfill [our] every good purpose and act of faith” (2 Thessalonians 1:11). “God [strengthens us] with all power according to His glorious might” (Colossians 1:11). And Peter gives us this incredible promise: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).
But perhaps the most powerful statement about the power of God is found in Ephesians 1:19-20, where Paul writes about God’s “incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead.” Stop. Go back and read that again. Can you and I comprehend what Paul has said? The same power that God exerted to raise Jesus Christ from the dead now lives in you and me through the Holy Spirit. That is power that will enable you to accomplish everything God has called you to. Do you have a problem that is bigger than death? No, and neither do I. Whatever the problem, whatever the challenge, whatever the work you are called to do – in Christ, you have the power you need.
Philippians 4:13 is a favorite verse of many Christians. “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” And you can too. The power of the Holy Spirit is already in you. Both the word “power” in Ephesians 3:20 and the word “strength” in Philippians 4:13 are from the same Greek root word we looked at earlier – “dynamai” – which is where we derive our English word “dynamite.” It is powerful power, and it is yours. But you can’t grit your teeth and muster up “dynamai.” It only comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
The promise of God’s power and strength should encourage and inspire us to fulfill all that He has called us to do and be. It is the power to love others, to forgive every wrong, to endure trials and suffering. It is strength we need to carry our burdens, to persevere through struggles and heartaches, and to reach out with compassion and kindness. It is the power to fight for justice, to remain firm in the face of opposition and to be His light in this dark world. In His strength we can resist temptations, turn away from sin and walk in righteousness. God’s power strengthens our faith and enables us to fulfill the purpose He created us for, to go where he sends us, to work for His kingdom, and to be His hands and feet in a world filled with lost and weary people. His power is real and it is mighty. And it is yours if you are Christ’s.
God of Power and Might, You are Yahweh Tsuri – the Lord my Strength – come fill me with power to face the challenges of today.