The apostle Paul frequently wrote about the need to rely upon Jesus Christ’s strength. He passed on to his readers a promise that the Lord had given him: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). Paul was a great Christian leader, but in God’s eyes, he was no more deserving of grace than any other person. You and I can have the same confidence in the Lord’s power that this courageous first-century missionary did.
When Paul received Jesus as his Lord and Savior, he was adopted as God’s son. Therefore, he had all the privileges that go with being reborn: His sins were forgiven (Acts 2:38), he was set apart for the Lord’s service (Gal. 1:15), and he received the Holy Spirit (John 14:17). Paul was an effective servant because the Spirit would release power into his life whenever God had a purpose for him to fulfill.
Consider Paul’s jail time. To help him withstand the rigors of imprisonment, the Holy Spirit provided physical and mental stamina. And at the same time, He burdened the hearts of other believers to provide for Paul’s material needs (Phil. 4:18). Most importantly, God’s Spirit expanded the apostle’s ministry by giving him the courage to speak of Jesus Christ with his Roman guards (Phil. 1:13).
The apostle Paul relied upon the Lord for strength and consequently never gave up on his faith. We serve the same all-powerful God, which means we have no excuse for running away from His plan, either. His Spirit dwells in us and is ready to release power when we obey our Father’s call.