Prayer For Grace And Peace in Hard Times

Grace, Mercy, and Peace | Rick Renner Ministries

Prayer For Grace And Peace in Hard Times

Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace.… — 1 Timothy 1:2

If you’ve ever felt problems were mounting and growing all around you and you didn’t have enough strength to make it another step, then I have some very good news for you! Today you’re going to discover that God extends a very special measure of mercy to people who feel they are being swamped by the affairs of life. Stay with me, because what you’re about to read is exactly what you need to start your day!

In all of the apostle Paul’s epistles, he begins by greeting his readers with “grace” and “peace.

” The exact wording from letter to letter may vary, but each of these epistles begin with some variation of a greeting that involves the words “grace” and “peace.

” (See Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:2; and Philemon 1:3).

Why did Paul so often use these two words in his greetings when he wrote his epistles? The answer is very simple. Because he was an apostle to the Gentiles or the Greek-speaking world, it was necessary for him to greet his foremost readers in a customary Greek manner.

During New Testament times, the salutation of “grace” was the customary greeting exchanged between Greeks when they approached each other.

Just as we would say, “Hello, how are you doing?”as a polite way of greeting someone we meet, the Greeks would say, “Grace!” when greeting one another.

This word “grace” is the Greek word charis, which means grace but also carries the idea of favor. So when a person greeted someone with this salutation, it was the equivalent of his saying, “I greet you with grace and favor.”

But Paul wasn’t only addressing the Greek world. As a Jew himself, he also wanted to greet the Jewish world that would be reading his epistles.

When the Jews met each other, their customary way of greeting one another was to say, “Shalom!” In fact, this is still the customary greeting exchanged between Jews in Israel today.

The Greek equivalent for the Hebrew word shalom is the word eirene, which is the word for peace.

By using both of these two greetings at the beginning of his epistles, Paul brilliantly reached out and embraced both the Greek and the Jewish world at the outset of his writings.

One scholar has said that by using both the terms “grace” and “peace,” the doors were thrown open for the whole world to read his letters.

It is obvious that Paul deliberately addressed those letters to both the Gentile and Jewish world.

Because of the meaning of the words charis and eirene and how these words were used as a form of greeting, it is as though Paul was saying:

“To those of you who are Greeks, I greet you with grace and favor, and to those of you who are Jews, I greet you with peace and shalom.”

When Paul wrote the books of First Timothy, Second Timothy, and Titus, he inserted the word “mercy” between the words “grace” and “peace” in his greeting, making the salutation read “grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father.” In all three of these epistles, he was not writing to an entire congregation; rather, these letters were private letters intended to be read only by Timothy and Titus.

Why did Paul alter his traditional greeting to include the word “mercy” when he wrote these personal letters? Well, in all three of these letters, Paul was writing to someone in the ministry who felt overwhelmed by the affairs of life.

For instance, when he wrote his first letter to Timothy (the book of First Timothy), Timothy was feeling overwhelmed by the phenomenal growth in the church under his care. Such growth is every pastor’s dream; however, Timothy was young, and he was pastoring what had become the world’s largest church.

This was therefore a very challenging time in Timothy’s life.

Timothy was feeling so challenged that he apparently wrote a letter to Paul, asking him for advice on how to choose leaders for his fast-growing congregation.

As the young minister faced this daunting task, he needed to be reminded that there was special “mercy” available to help him in his time of need. Thus, when Paul wrote to Timothy, he inserted the word “mercy” between the traditional greeting of “grace” and “peace.

” He said, “Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace…” (1 Timothy 1:2).

Several years after Paul wrote that first letter to Timothy, the political environment in the Roman Empire radically changed and public opinion turned violently against believers.

Just as the Church had grown quickly before this change occurred, it now began to quickly diminish as believers were captured, imprisoned, enslaved, and killed.

Many believers also defected from the Christian faith and went back to their old pagan temples in order to comply with the wishes of the government and to save themselves from death.

The tragedy occurring inside Timothy’s church was devastating. The size of his prized congregation was declining daily right before his eyes. His heart was broken as he watched leaders defecting and going back to their old ways in order to escape death — trusted team members who Timothy had thought would be faithful to the very end.

Apparently Timothy had written a letter to Paul, expressing his fears and hurts about the crisis he faced, so Paul wrote him back.

That second letter to Timothy (the book of Second Timothy) is Paul’s response to Timothy and to the predicament that surrounded the younger minister on every side.

Writing Timothy to encourage him to be strong in the Lord, Paul began his second letter by once more inserting the word “mercy” between the words “grace” and peace.” He said, “To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace…” (2 Timothy 1:2).

The third time Paul inserted the word “mercy” between his traditional greetings of “grace” and “peace” was in his letter to Titus. As with Timothy, Titus found himself in a very difficult circumstance.

After Paul started the church on the island of Crete, he left before the church was completely established and before leaders were firmly set in place.

Paul left Titus to finish the job he didn’t complete in Crete, instructing him to make the final selection of church leaders and then to establish them in their positions.

The people who lived on Crete at that time were famous for being lazy gluttons and liars. They were a devious, mischievous people who were very difficult to trust. Even more, Crete was known to be a repository for criminals and barbaric- people.

Paul wrote to Titus and told him, “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting…” (Titus 1:5).

This would have been a monstrous task for even the most seasoned leader, and it loomed before Titus as a huge and daunting assignment.

The circumstances Titus faced were so immense that when Paul wrote to him, he said, “To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace…”(Titus 1:4). It wasn’t enough for Titus to hear about grace and peace — he also needed to be reminded that there was special mercy available to help him in his situation.

In all three of these cases, the readers were facing serious situations and needed to be reminded that God’s mercy was extended to help them bravely face and overcome their challenges.

You may need to be reminded of the same thing today.

If you are facing a situation that would normally be devastating or overwhelming to you, grab hold of this good news: God has made a special measure of His “mercy” available to you! Don’t try to face the ordeal in your own strength until you end up feeling swamped and overwhelmed; instead, realize that God’s mercy is available to meet you right where you are. If you’ll open your heart to receive from God, He will tuck a special measure of mercy between the grace and peace He is offering you today. So why don’t you allow God’s mercy to assist you with the challenges you are facing at this very moment?

My Prayer for Today

Lord, I thank You for making special mercy available to help me in times of struggle and hardship.

I admit that I often try to handle all my challenges on my own, but I know it is impossible for me to overcome my obstacles without the help of Your mercy.

So today I am opening my heart and asking You to extend a special measure of mercy to assist me through this challenging time in my life. I thank You in advance for pouring this mercy upon me, and by faith, I receive it right now.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

My Confession for Today

I confess that God’s mercy is working in me! God promises mercy to me, and I receive it by faith. That mercy empowers me to overcome my negative emotions, my struggles, and all the obstacles the devil has tried to set before me. Because God’s mercy is working in me, I am well able to rise above the struggles I face and to overcome them victoriously!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

Questions to Answer

1. Can you think of a time when you were suddenly invigorated by a supernatural flow of divine mercy that surged into you and gave you the strength and courage you needed to face and overcome a difficult situation?

2. When you became aware of that special mercy, how did it affect both your attitude and the situation you were facing?

3. If you are specially challenged by a situation in your life right now, why not take a few minutes today to ask God to give you a special measure of mercy to help?

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Bible Verses About Having Strength During Hard Times

Prayer For Grace And Peace in Hard Times

A week or so ago I put together a massive post with well over a hundred bible verses about money and talked about how we need to make sure that we always put God first in our lives before money – and everything else.

We can easily allow money to become our master, and God can quickly move to the background if we’re not careful.

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matthew 6:24

One thing that occurred to me in the midst of listing all those verses, however, is that I never really touched on a topic that seems to be especially important right now in the midst of a double dip recession when so many people are having a hard time.  The idea of looking to God for strength in the midst of hard times.

Bible Verses About Strength

Today I decided to bring together some encouraging and challenging verses talking about how and where we need to find strength in the midst of turbulent times. I hope you find them uplifting as well.

Where Do We Find Strength?

Where do we find our strength? In the Lord our God!

Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.

Nehemiah 8:10 Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Exodus 15:2 The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him—  my father’s God, and I will exalt him!

Psalm 9:9-10 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Psalm 34:10b Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

Isaiah 26: 3-4 Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace—because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock.

1 Chronicles 16:11  Seek the LORD and his strength;  seek his presence continually!

Psalm 32:7-8 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Exodus 33:14 My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.

Deuteronomy 31:8 It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.

Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

Psalm 34:17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.

Isaiah 30:15 In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.

Don’t Worry Or Fear, Find Your Strength In Him

It can be so easy to give into worry, fear and despair, but with Him we can find strength, and look forward to wonderful things.  He gives us hope!

Isaiah 43:1-3 Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord you God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Luke 12:25-26 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[a]? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

Philippians 4:6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Psalm 34:4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 27: 1-3 The LORD is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me,it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;though war break out against me,even then I will be confident.

Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Psalm 145: 18-19 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Isaiah 12:2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.

God Gives Us A Spirit Of Strength And Power

Through faith in Christ we are given a spirit of power, love and discipline, and for that reason we have nothing to fear.  We can hold onto his promises and be confident that he’ll see us through even the darkest of days.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Psalm 138:3 When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted.

Psalm 16:8 I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Psalm 62:1-2 My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Psalm 112: 1, 7-8 Praise the Lord! Happy are those who fear the Lord. They are not afraid of evil tidings; their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord. Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid.

Psalm 91:1-2 You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God in whom I trust.”

Psalm 112: 1, 7-8 Praise the Lord! Happy are those who fear the Lord. They are not afraid of evil tidings; their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord. Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid.

Hard Times May Come, But He’s There With Us Through Them All

Though we aren’t promised an easy life, we are told that Christ will be there with us when we believe in Him, that he won’t give us more than we can handle with His help,  and even our hard times can be used to glorify God.

2 Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

Philippians 4: 12-13 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation . . . . I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

Isaiah 40:29 He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

1 Peter 5: 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Hebrews 4:16 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Deuteronomy 31:6,8 Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.

 Strength In Christ Our Lord And Savior

As the verses above illustrate, we’re told to call on Jesus Christ, and that he will hear us and give us strength, hope and a grace sufficient to carry us through.  He will be our ever present help when we’re in need, and he can give us a peace that passes all understanding.  For me that’s extremely encouraging.

How about you?  Do you have any favorite bible verses about strength, and where you can find it? Did one of the verses above stick out more than the others for you?  Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

Want to find more verses on Strength in the Bible and don’t have your own? Get a free Bible.

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