I was in 2Timothy chapter 1 and contemplating Paul’s reminder that the power of God (dynamis) is with us to overcome fear, and to also not be ashamed of the testimony of the LORD but to share in suffering for the Gospel. As I read on past those opening verses, I halted at verse 9, struck by the awesome relevance for our life today.
“He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.” [2 Timothy 1:9 HCSB]
If we were to describe our lives right now, we might include the word “stress.” The definition of stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. Ah, maybe we could just abbreviate it this way: Life=Stress.
I found it very interesting that I could not find the word “stress” in the NIV, KJV, NKJV, or HCSB, unless it was a rendering of the word meaning to emphasize. The Bible does not give us detailed instructions on how to cope with stress, instead it shows us stressful situations and God’s abundant power and grace to overcome them.
When I read verse 9, it hit me that this is a verse about God’s provision in the midst of stress.
It tells us 1) that God has saved us; 2) He has called us to this salvation with a holy calling; 3) We did nothing to earn this salvation or holy calling [it was not because of our works]; 4) God purposed to save us and call us and did it through His abundant grace; and 5) this all started before time [creation] began.
Is that not a remedy for the stress this life produces in the natural? What an astonishing truth, that God provided the grace for our salvation and holy calling (our individual salvation and holy calling) before we were created – meaning before we ever did anything right or wrong!
It is not about us – it is all about our wonderful, awesome, LORD and Savior. Amen