Deliverer of Our Troubles
Paul suffers for Jesus Christ.
Paul suffers pain and hardship because of his belief in the Gospel.
Paul had a constant physical ailment, was threatened, assaulted, and imprisoned for his faith.
Even in the Body of Christ, he had experienced disagreement that led to separation.
God does not take away our pain and suffering to make it “all better.”
Jesus even promised that his disciples would experience persecution because of him. (John 15 & 16)
Paul invites Timothy to, “Join me in suffering” (Vs. 3)
Be wary of anything/anyone that takes you away from what pleases God.
Disqualification from the race for violating the rule of God.
An faithful worker will not be able to share in the fruits.
“Flee the evil desires,” [as if they were that easy to be rid of on our own]
Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments [as all the philosophers have done], as they produce quarrels. [Don’t produce quarrels]
Endure hardship for the sake of all those who might believe.
Those who are sinning are trapped by the devil into doing his will.
This will lead to eternal suffering and death.
Trouble in the World: We suffer more as disciples of Jesus Christ.
But we are experiencing suffering and death right now.
At this moment, people are getting sick and dying from this Coronavirus and many other things that were already present in the world.
Also, at this moment, people all around us are being afflicted on every side by the evil one.
Enticed by temporary and unfulfilling pleasures or drawn in by others who believe they know “what is good” to experience in life.
Paul calls it being trapped into doing the will of the evil one, the devil.
Grace in the Text: God gives Paul strength to endure suffering.
Notes: 2 Tim. 2 -
Paul gives us three images of what life in Jesus Christ looks like:
“The Lord will give you insight into all this.”
The Soldier Trusts & Obeys their commander to their death
The Athlete Conditions for & Follows the rules of their sport
The Farmer Cultivates conditions for Growth of Fruit
We should please the one who can impart righteousness and life to us, the one who watches out and defends us.
We should condition for and follow the rules laid out for success in our lives.
We should cultivate the condition of our souls to bear fruit when the time is right.
The Gospel: Jesus Christ, raised from the dead.
Paul might be chained up for his faith, but God’s word is not bound.
We must “flee evil desires,” “pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord our of a pure heart.” (Vs. 22)
Our model is Jesus,
who did not seek to defend himself with words (Matt. 12:19),
was meek and lowly (Matt. 11:29),
and sought to overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21).
“I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.” (Vs. 10)
In Baptism, we die to ourselves and raise to life in Jesus Christ.
In the Lord’s Supper, we remember Christ’s giving himself up, to the point of death, that we might have eternal life through the strength of his grace.
What are you willing to endure to see that others come into the full knowledge of Jesus Christ as their savior?
Do you believe that God’s grace gives you sufficient strength to endure your suffering? Have you asked God?
Grace in the World: Today, God gives us strength to endure suffering.
Even when our opponents are so strongly against us, we are encouraged to gently instruct them, with hope of their repentance that leads them to know the truth that will set them free.
Instructing and exhorting another person
How is it that we respond to our opponents?
Do we wish that they never spoke or had the freedom to speak? Do we wish that we did not have to know them or that they did not exist?
Jesus taught us to love our enemies, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
And to love God with our whole selves: body, mind and spirit.
Someone once said, “if God calls you to it, God will take you through it.”
God gives us strength for the difficult journeys, that we might share that strength of God’s grace to others.
Will you live in the strength of God’s grace today?