Paul’s second letter reveals he obviously knew Timothy well. Paul assures Timothy of his prayers for him day and night, encourages him to develop his gifts, and tells him not to be afraid. Paul honestly shares about his own challenges in the midst of remaining true to Christ and, in doing so, challenges Timothy to join him in suffering for the gospel. He reminds Timothy that God is able to guard what he entrusts to Him.
2 Timothy 2:1-7 begins with Paul encouraging Timothy to be strong and to entrust others with what he has learned – to find people qualified to teach others. Paul then exhorts him to endure hardship like a good soldier who wants to please his commander and follows orders despite obstacles and challenges. To drive the point home, Paul then compares this endurance with an athlete who competes, and tells him it takes discipline and sacrifice to compete well. He then points out that a farmer is hardworking – also enduring hardship to reap a bountiful harvest.
Paul’s encouragement and call to us is the same. Be strong in the grace that is yours in Christ. Entrust to others what you learn so they will then go and do likewise. Endure hardship – don’t quit, be disciplined and focus despite obstacles and challenges. Put in the necessary effort and sacrifice. This is how we become strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Our efforts to endure come from the strength He provides daily.
In 2 Timothy 2:10, Paul announces the reason why it is worth enduring: “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.” Amen!
Lord thank you that you give us the grace to be strong. Help us to guard what you are teaching us and to teach others to go and do likewise. Help us by your power to endure hardships – to keep following you regardless of obstacles and challenges. Thank you that reaching others with the news of your salvation is worth every sacrifice. Amen.
Go deeper ― Paul encourages us to reflect on these things and that the Lord will give us insight. I encourage you to do the same. Remember why the Lord asks you to endure hardship and don’t give up. Pray for the grace to be strong and to endure regardless of your current challenges.