In Paul’s second letter to Timothy he mentioned his personal service with a clear conscience and Timothy’s sincere faith and reminded him that “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,…” (2 Timothy 1). Paul also told him to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” and to “suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus…compete as an athlete,” and be like a “hard-working farmer” (2:1-13). He told Timothy to remind others and to be diligent himself, to “flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace,” and to “refuse foolish and ignorant speculations,…” – all while being gentle and not quarrelsome (2:14-26).
Paul warned Timothy “that in the last days difficult times will come” and how men would be during those times, and that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (3:1-13). He exhorted Timothy to “continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,” because “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (3:14-17).
Paul charged him to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction,… be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry,” warning him that “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;…” (4:1-5). Paul’s time was nearly over: “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (4:6-8).
Paul wrote, “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” (1:12). We need that same level of faith in God today. It will lead us to fight the good fight, finish the course, and keep the faith. Then we will share with Paul in that crown of righteousness.
Have a great day in His word!