“Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my Gospel and the proclamation about Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept silent for long ages but now revealed and made known through the prophetic Scriptures, according to the command of the eternal God to advance the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles—to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ—to Him be glory forever! Amen.” — Romans 16:25-27
How do we get stronger? Strength is gained through WORK. No one lays around, watches Netflix, plays video games, and simultaneously gets stronger. I remember as a kid in elementary school that my dad and uncle were power lifters. My dad’s best friend was a world-champion power lifter who holds record in the Master category to this day. Power lifting is a type of weightlifting that requires lifting really heavy stuff off the ground and then putting it back down again. There are a few different lifts that are used. All of them are major movements that are designed to push a person to extreme limits.
I would come home from school and my dad and uncle would be in the basement of the house lifting, and the sounds coming out of that basement were INTENSE. They didn’t have a normal set of weights like you might find at a fitness equipment store. Instead, they had fabricated their own equipment from various parts of heavy equipment. This stuff was heavy! One set of plates weighed ninety pounds each—double that of traditional weight lifting plates! The sound of those heavy plates dropping or hitting metal racks, along with the barbaric grunts of my father and the motivating yells of my uncle was almost scary. I was used to it, but it was always funny when I would have a friend over during my dad’s workouts. The look on the kid’s face would be priceless when he heard the noise from the basement. It was almost like he thought someone was being assaulted down in the dungeon! I would smile and say, “Oh that is just my dad and uncle lifting weights. They always yell a lot.”
Getting stronger is hard, and requires a lot of gritty work. There is no easy path to it. But along with hard work, there is a need for good nutrition and rest. Competitive athletes and weightlifters take these two things seriously. Work, nutrition and rest are all so important for strength and growth.
The same is true of us if we are to grow stronger in our faith and our Christianity. We need to understand the balance of work, spiritual nutrition, and spiritual rest. We work in obedience, and we rest in Christ. Consider the 5 things this passage tells us will strengthen us in our Christian walk.
- According to the Gospel.
- The proclamation of Jesus Christ.—2 Timothy 1:7-8, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord.”
- The Word of God— “according to the revelation of the mystery kept silent for long ages but now revealed and made known through the prophetic Scriptures.”
- Obedience to God— “According to the command of the eternal God to advance the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles.”
- Worship— “To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ—to Him be glory forever.”