I spent a lot of time with Titus 2:1-15 yesterday, particulary verse 2. "It teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled upright and godly lives in this present age."
[It teaches us ...] Its necessary for the grace of God to teach me. It's not going to come naturally and its not intuitive. Its not going to happen because I will it to happen. The growth of a disciple is not a given; its not automatically bestowed upon us. We learn it. We are taught what following Christ means by the grace of God.
[... in this present age.] All of this is God's gift to me so that I can live today. As concerned as God and the Bible are about our eternal future with God in heaven, God is just as concerned about right now. We have to live (at least for a little while) right in the here and now. God knows that and leads us so that we can live in this moment. Our future is secure; but our "right now" is important to God too.
In the middle of "stuff," can I still be taught? Can I hear God's voice? Am I able to exercise the self-control I need to live a Godly life? While the problems and struggles swirl around, God wants to show me how to live in "this present age."
When I say things like, "I can't handle this," it reveals just how much I still need to learn. I need the grace of God to continue teaching me.