Disappointment leading to doubt leading to distress leading to despair – So many walk without the knowledge of God and find themselves drowning in a world of chaos and uncertainty.
Over the last two years those who have journeyed with Jesus and me in the blogging world know our travels started in Genesis. There we found Jesus before time began. We walked with him through the whole of the Old Testament to where we arrive today, 2 Timothy.
Paul, who waits in prison for his departure from this world, writes to his young son in the Lord. He points him to God and our Savior Jesus Christ.
“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel… For the which cause 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 that which I have committed
unto him against that day.” (1:9-10,12)
Paul’s words reveal how to possess a heart filled with hope when trouble abounds. It begins with knowing Christ, not knowing about him, but experiencing the truth of the knowledge we have of him.
“for I know whom I have believed”
What did Paul know and of whom? He knew –
- Our Savior Jesus Christ who was before the world began;
- He abolished death;
- He brought life and immortality through his birth, life, death, and resurrection;
- Jesus is able to keep him free from judgment in the day of his return.
Because Paul knew this One personally he had confidence when facing the various trials he experienced. And now, he had confidence without fear as he faced the end of his earthly journey. In knowing Christ, he knew –
- “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind …
- Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds: but the word of God is not bound.
Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the
- salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
- It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
- If we suffer, we shall also reign with him …
- he abideth faithful:
- he cannot deny himself.” (2:9-13)
He also mentions in verses 12 & 13( my parapharase) if we deny Christ, He will deny us. Our unbelief doesn’t change the Lord’s truth.
Paul knew our Lord is able to make us stand even in times of persecution.
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal,
The Lord knoweth them that are his.
And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity …
what persecutions I endured:
but out of them all the Lord delivered me.”
Paul received his knowledge from the Lord and his holy scriptures even as he reminded Timothy. And the Father has left us those same words.
“from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures,
- which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
- All scripture is given by inspiration of God,
- and is profitable for doctrine,
- for reproof,
- for correction,
- for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (3:15-17).
Paul knew and so can we –
“the Lord Jesus Christ,
who shall judge the quick and the dead
at his appearing and his kingdom;” (4:1).
Because Paul knew the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior, he faced persecutions, sickness, trials, and death with a confident hope.
“For I am now ready to be offered,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness,
which the Lord, the righteous judge,
shall give me at that day:
and not to me only,
but unto all them also that love his appearing…
And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work,
and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom:
to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
When facing life out of your control, remember there is One who knows you. Do you know him? You can. Look to Jesus. He is faithful. May we all continue to grow in his grace and knowledge.
“The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit.
Grace be with you. Amen.”