Read 2 Timothy 1:1-14
An appointed soldier of Christ, trained by none other than the Apostle Paul himself. Timothy knew how easy it was to lose sight of all that God had given. His good friend and mentor now lay in a dungeon in Rome, imprisoned for the very faith in which Timothy now stood. I imagine him maybe smoothing his hand over the ink of this letter reminiscing. Perhaps he felt sad because he knew Paul’s end was near. I wonder if something inside of Timothy wanted to hide away and just give in to the difficulties that this life now presented.
In all honesty, sometimes that’s what I want to do. Perhaps you’ve felt it, too. Because this living thing is hard. And it’s easy to forget the truths upon which God has founded us. Maybe that’s why God had Paul pen these words in this first chapter of a letter to Timothy. To remind him, and us, of some truths that will help us to stand strong. Here are three:
1. We have a spirit of power. And love. And self-discipline. The sincere faith that Timothy’s mom and grandma taught him resulted in a gift that God purposed for the growth of His kingdom. It was a gift in which Paul got to play a part. And now it was time for the intern to step further out in faith and boldly use that gift.
We have God-gifts, too. (See Romans 12:6) First Corinthians 12:7 says the Spirit shows Himself through each of us by gifting us uniquely. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. Along with those gifts, God gave us His very power to use them. He gave us His love with which to administer the gift. And He gave us the self-discipline to keep at it, keep growing in it. This is how to stand strong. Remember the gift of God.
2. Christ Jesus has destroyed death. In the end, He wins. That’s how God can promise life in Him (v1). It’s a big enough truth to keep Timothy standing strong. A solid enough fact to get our feet out of bed and make us walk into the difficult of every single day. Life in Jesus Christ wins every time.
3. We know whom we believe. Because of Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, we can know Him. We can know Him intimately. And because of that, we can know that He always has our backs. For when we know Him and believe Him, His power is revealed to us in a way that we simply cannot deny. Therefore, we stand firm with Him, the One Whom we believe.
So stand strong, soldier! God’s got your back. Just like He had Paul’s. Just like He had Timothy’s. Stand strong!