Genuine Christians are often tempted with discouragement and despair. We find this to be true of numerous people in Scripture (King David – Pss. 142, 143; Paul – 2 Cor. 1:8-9), and also of many throughout church history (William Cowper; Charles Spurgeon). Certainly many different factors, both internal and external, can tempt us to dark and troubling difficulties in our minds.
One of the things that can easily discourage us is our awareness of how far short we fall of obeying God’s will…how easily we can sin in our affections, attitudes, words, and actions. Perhaps you’ve experienced this as we’ve been looking at practical matters of godliness from the book of Titus. If you haven’t yet, you probably will! The demands and responsibilities of godliness for all believers are very clear in what Paul declares to Titus, and very specific. And Paul is emphatic: Titus is to declare these things, exhorting and rebuking with all authority (Titus 2:15).
But Paul is equally clear that the foundation, motivation, and power from which we’re to pursue godliness is found in the mercy and grace of God in Christ. As we seek to grow in practical godliness, it is vitally important that we do so in the sure and certain hope of all God has given us in Christ. So I encourage you to spend much time meditating on the key passages in Titus where Paul highlights God’s work in Christ – 1:1-3; 2:11-14; and 3:4-7. Ask the Lord to help you grasp the wonder of these glorious truths, and respond with thanksgiving and praise to our God.
And keep pursuing practical godliness, beloved, in the blessed, eternal hope God has called us to in Christ!
Grace upon grace,