ODJ: Rising Above

July 12, 2016 

READ: 1 Timothy 6:11-16  

Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well (v.12).

Kris Silbaugh plays American football with just one hand. What’s more, he plays receiver—a position that’s all about using two hands. A receiver must catch passes thrown to him by a quarterback and then run with the football before being tackled by the defence. In 2015 the young man set the all-time receiving yards record at his high school, having amassed more than 912 receiving yards (the previous record) for his career. Born without a left hand due to a birth defect, Silbaugh says, “It has never stopped me. I just don’t let it—never have.”

Timothy didn’t let challenges stop him from faithfully serving God and the church at Ephesus (1 Timothy 6:12). Paul identified at least two difficulties for Timothy in a letter he wrote to him—his youthfulness and the fact that he was “sick so often” (4:12, 5:23). Timothy was probably about 30 years old at the time, quite young to be leading a dynamic and immature church. The fact that he faced chronic illness certainly didn’t help.

Paul also noted that Timothy had to deal with false teaching, persecution and the relational pain caused by his mentor—Paul himself—being imprisoned and near the end of his life (1 Timothy 4:1-2, 6:5; 2 Timothy 2:3,9, 4:6,9).

You and I also face challenges—things that could threaten to stop us in our tracks. May we, as Timothy did, receive these encouraging words from Paul: “Pursue righteousness and a godly life”, “Fight the good fight for the true faith” and “Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you” (1 Timothy 6:11-12).

Paul told Timothy to fix his eyes on Jesus, the “King of all kings and Lord of all lords” (v.15). In Him we find the strength to rise above the challenges of today.

—Tom Felten

365-day plan: Luke 8:22-56

As you face challenges and difficulties, consider Jesus’ words in John 16:33. 
What difficulties have caused you to experience distress recently? How can focusing your eyes on Jesus and your hope in Him help you continue to “fight the good fight”?