II TIMOTHY 1:8-10: “So don’t be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, or of me his prisoner. Instead, share in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God. He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. This has now been made evident through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who has abolished death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” CSB
OBSERVATION: Will I make it through? When everything seems to be piling up one by one, and I am at my breaking point, is there still hope? What does my weakness remind me of during these times?
Have you ever been at a breaking point in your life? I am not talking about when you face a few small problems. I am talking about when one mountain piles up on another, and another, and another, and another. This is where I find myself at this moment of writing and reflection. This is not to rehearse my current woes in order to illicit sympathy. This is to process these events in light of God’s Word and the truth that sustains me.
Here is a list of what I am facing at the moment. I have faced recent health issues that have left ongoing concerns and a large hospital bill. I am part of a health sharing network, but still have not seen anything in sharing yet, and have had to pay these bills out of pocket. On top of this, we lost our tenants for our leased home in Texas. I am now paying a second mortgage, all expenses, and utilities, while we try to find another tenant. And, in my job, we are facing one of the biggest customer issues that could actually take down our company if not handled right. And, yes, I am the one holding the ball. Finally, I am facing personal attacks and disappointments that are striking me at the very core of my being.
Why do I share all of this? Because this morning, as I opened the Word of God, and sat in reflective prayer, I did not know where to go and what to do. And, then, in my daily reading, the Lord reminded me of His faithfulness through Paul’s letter to young Timothy.
- “So don’t be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, or of me his prisoner. Instead, share in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God.”
I have felt there has been a great dimension of spiritual warfare in the list above. All of this as we are still trying to adjust to a new community, and I am trying to launch a new ministry and follow God’s leading. I have felt like a boxer on the ropes. Unable to make progress. Unable to see ahead. I know the enemy’s tactics. He tries to wear us down in order to get us to give up. Yet, Paul reminded Timothy where his power came from. It was not from Timothy’s resolve. It was from the power of God! The only way we can face the mounting difficulties we face in life is through the power of God!
I needed to hear this. When I look at my power tank, it is both empty, and there is a large gaping hole in the side. Yet, when I look at God’s power tank, it is always full, always sufficient, always available! Paul had learned this through the personal battle with his “thorn in the flesh.” And, now Paul was trying to remind Timothy and encourage him in the midst of Timothy’s battles.
Paul also called Timothy to reflect on his calling. Many times when we go through the fire we feel like God has forgotten us, or that our calling is somehow void because of our weaknesses. Yet, our calling is never based on our efforts or performance. Our calling is based on God’s love, grace, and mercy!
- “He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. This has now been made evident through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who has abolished death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
His calling, and His faithfulness to fulfill His calling in us, is testified through His life, death, and most importantly His resurrection. When He rolled away the stone from that dark tomb, He proclaimed that He would roll away the stone from every tomb and trial we face in our life. We know that we will make it through every trial of this life because of the fact that we have been transferred from mortality into immortality though Him who has loved us. If we are immortal in Him, we will make it all the way! And so Paul goes on to say to young Timothy,
- “For this gospel I was appointed a herald, apostle, and teacher, and that is why I suffer these things. But I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.” 2 Timothy 1:11-12 CSB
Lord, this morning, thank You for Your Word. Thank you for Your calling. Thank You for the empty tomb. And, thank You for the wonder of knowing You. Like Paul, may I be fully persuaded that You are both guarding me, and that You are fulfilling in my life all that has been decreed and entrusted by Your grace – until that day!
Until that day…
In Jesus Name!