1 Timothy 1:12 ESV
"I thank him who has given me strength,"
What strengthens me? Where do I find my courage, consistency, clarity and character as a pastor and shepherd over the church of Jesus Christ? Do I find my strength in the acolades and acceptance of my sheep? Do I find my strength in results, size of ministry and scope of influence? Do I find my strength in personal pleasures, indulgences, selfish preservation, abundance of resources or breadth of authority? What is my motive and motivation for ministry?
Christ above all should be my strength.
Christ's incarnation strengthens me to show up.
Christ's humility strengthens me to serve.
Christ's sacrifice strengthens me to give.
Christ's words strengthen me to lead.
Christ's miracles strengthen me to pray.
Christ's suffering strengthens me to endure.
Christ's death strengthens me to proclaim.
Christ's resurrection strengthens me to live.
This strength however is not delivered generically or passively to those who, at one time or another, have called on Christ. This strength is made available to those who call on Christ daily out of humility and a profound and deep awareness of dependence on him. This is the promise of God.
Isaiah 40:30-31 ESV
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.