|Posted by Rev. Jeff Ferguson on July 8, 2017 at 2:15 AM|
For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. (2 Timothy 1:12)
A growing appreciation of God's ability produces in us an increasing tendency to rely upon God's promises. In this present meditation, we will be reminded of how relationship with the Lord is always at the heart of the Christian life.
The setting for Paul's "one verse testimony" was the suffering that he was experiencing. "For this reason I also suffer these things." The reason he suffered was related to his calling to preach the gospel, "to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles" (2 Timothy 1:11). When the Lord first called Paul to serve Him in the good news of grace, his future sufferings were addressed. "I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake" (Acts 9:16). Suffering is inevitable while serving God in an ungodly world. Jesus Himself was our example. "For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps" (1 Peter 2:21).
Although Paul suffered, he was not shamed by his suffering. "Nevertheless I am not ashamed." If our suffering is for godly reasons, we likewise do not need to be ashamed. "If anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter" (1 Peter 4:16). The faith that Paul had to endure sufferings properly came from His growing relationship with Jesus. "For I know whom I have believed." Since he originally believed in the Lord, Paul had become increasingly acquainted with Him. A wonderful consequence of increased intimacy with Christ is that we become increasingly convinced of His ability. "For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able." This conviction covered every matter that Paul entrusted into the care of His Master. "He is able to keep what I have committed to Him." Also, it covered every day right up until the return of the Lord: "until that Day." Again, Jesus left us a similar example. He committed His daily situations into the hands of His able heavenly Father: "When He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously" (1 Peter 2:23).