“Be strong.” Have you ever used these words to encourage someone who was going through a difficult time? Has someone tried to encourage you with these words?
The apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians wrote: “Finally, my brethren, be strong.” Be strong in themselves? No, “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (6:10).
In other words, be made strong by the strength of the Lord, by the mighty power of God. Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians was that they would know the greatness of God’s power, and “the working of his mighty power” (1:19).
Paul also told Timothy, in his second letter to him, to be strong. Again, he was not to be strong in himself or in his own strength. He was to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2:1).
This is what is called strengthening grace. Paul learned about the grace of God that gives us strength when the Lord said to him:
“My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (Second Corinthian 12:9).
It was because of the strengthening grace of the Lord Jesus that Paul could say: “for when I am weak, then am I strong” (v.10).