Today’s Bible Verse
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. Now I urge you, brothers—you know that the household[d] of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints—be subject to such as these, and to every fellow worker and laborer. I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence, for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such people.1 Corinthians 16:13-18 (ESV)
Standing Strong in Tough Times
We always want our final words to have an impact, to bring strength and encouragement when times get tough. Paul shares some vital instructions at the end of his first letter to the Corinthians. He wants to give them keys for tough times ahead. We can benefit from these in our own lives.
BE ON GUARD
The first key for tough times is to, “Be on Guard.” Interesting that Paul starts with this. He knows that being on the alert is something that all disciples should be doing but especially those who struggle with their old lifestyle. Temptation looms around every corner. We can’t be in spiritual slumber and stay strong. The enemy prowls around looking for those he can devour. Be aware of what is going on.
The second key for tough times is, “Stand Firm.” The storms of life are coming, and many may say they are here. Will you endure to the end? The tendency is to run for cover when difficult times come. We want to escape any conflict or confrontation. Paul tells us to stand firm. Let Christ be your anchor when tough times come. He wants to be our refuge. Stand firm; trust Him; and watch him work.
The third key for tough times is, “Be Strong.” When Paul tells us to be strong, he is saying be strong in the Lord. Our strength comes from the Lord. Strength is often the attitude inside us that won’t quit. We don’t have to be a rock because Jesus is that solid foundation we can build our lives on. Look to him when you are weak.
OPERATE IN LOVE
The final key for tough times is to, “Operate in Love.” Everything we do should be motivated by love. This starts with our love for God. We should be growing in our love and intimacy with Jesus Christ every day. His love will fill us up and supply the necessary love for others. There is nothing more important than investing in your relationship with Jesus Christ. He is the rock that anchors us. It is His grace that sustains us. It is His Spirit that empowers us. Let your life be marked with love. (Pastor Pattie Eselu)
Change My Story
If you find yourself lacking faith, strength, or love when things get a little tough or when the unexpected happens, take it from Paul, one who has endured many hardships along the way. Even in the toughest times, you will find your heart at peace, standing on the firm foundation of God’s Word, and building the lives of others to stand strong as well.
I declare that I am strong in the Lord and the power of His might. I am alert; I stand firm in faith at all times, and I choose to love God and love people.
Today’s Bible Reading
- Old Testament: Jeremiah 30-31; Ecclesiastes 9
- New Testament: John 4:15-26; James 5:13-20