Athlete, This is How Strength Works
1 Timothy 1:12 (NIV)
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength …
Strength is a crucial part of athletic performance. “Bigger/Stronger/Faster” are words that echo across every good sports laboratory in the world.
But in our pursuit of needed performance strength, we often fail to consistently acknowledge the role mental, emotional and spiritual strength truly play in peak performance. Those three other “tires” must be well inflated if we want to powerfully roll through life.
Wanna know some great things that God says about strength? Wanna know how strength works at a deeper level? Take a look at these prompts from today’s Scriptures.
JESUS CHRIST BRINGS IT. Make no mistake about it. Strength comes from God, not just from self or even strong others around us. His strengthening trumps everything. His power added makes mine boundless.
Whatever God wants me to do, I can do because Christ works in me (Philippians 4:13). “With You I can attack a barricade, and with my God I can leap over a wall“ (Psalm 18:29, Christian Standard Bible).
Don’t make the mistake of operating with low power (Matthew 22:29). Ask Jesus for His power to be made perfect in you, to rest on you (2 Corinthians 12:9-12). [These are great verses to memorize!]
And how does Jesus do this? How does He empower us? Today’s Scripture passage points us here:
HE SUPPORTS FAITHFULNESS AND SEES WORTH (1 Timothy 1:12). How encouraging to know that Jesus notes my faithfulness more than I think and that He believes I can bring value, appointing me to His service. What a royal, empowering thought!
HE SHOWS MERCY AND GRACE (1 Timothy 1:13-14,16). Mercy and Grace are terrifically empowering twins. They deliver strength! When received as gifts from God, these two can lift anyone from the deepest holes of depression, guilt and shame.
God in Christ loves to pour this pair out on us. Receive them and be strengthened.
HE OVERLOOKS MY SIN (1 Timothy 1:13-16). If Jesus can overlook my sin, it sure encourages me to move on past my failures, as well, and self-forgive. Because He does, it then gives me royal permission to do the same.
Moving past failure sure feels empowering. God says my past does not have to condemn my future. I can make a brand new end.
HE QUALIFIES THE CALLED. Jesus does not call the qualified. (The apostle Paul‘s life testimony here gives such strong testament to this.) As we heed His call to come to Him, as we turn to Him in our need, confessing our inadequacies, imperfections, struggles, woes and weaknesses, that’s when we become strong (2 Corinthians 12:10 — “For when I am weak, then I am strong,“ NIV).
ELIGIBILITY IS ONLY FOUND HERE. Only sinners find God’s power working in their lives. If you don’t consider yourself a sinner, don’t expect to find God’s power working in you. Those who think they’re “healthy” don’t need a doctor, Jesus said (Mark 2:13-17).
Note also that eligibility to access Jesus power never expires. It runs throughout eternity (1 Timothy 1:16). What a strong gift!
POWER UP WITH THESE THREE RESPONSES.
ASK God for new strength, knowing He will grant it for His glory and your good. Especially ask Him for great wisdom, emotional control, moral courage and fearless faith for every daunting task.
FOLLOW His good coaching that you may fight the good fight of faith and avoid shipwreck to your soul (1 Timothy 1:18).
WORSHIP God for the strength He truly brings. Mark these moments with powerful thanksgiving (1 Timothy 1:17).
Reflect: How well inflated are your tires? What needs to be brought to Jesus for a power infusion? How can you help another to do the same today?
A prayer to consider: LORD JESUS, You are the source of my strength and living fountain of my power. You sustain me by Your grace and mercifully overlook all my sins. You call and qualify me and affirm my value and worth in a world that constantly erodes it.
You make Your strength perfect in my weakness. O how I worship You!
Grant me courage and strength to face any fresh or recurring physical, mental and emotional fears that would rob me of the confident living You call me to. Help me to keep coming to You as my power source and pointing others to You too. Amen.