Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com
2 Timothy 1:1-2:13 (ESV)
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,
2 To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Guard the Deposit Entrusted to You
3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. 13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. 15 You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, 17 but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me— 18 may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.
A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus
2 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. 3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 5 An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. 7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. 8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; 13 if we are faithless, He remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.
What role does suffering and endurance play in your life?
Christ, my Savior, this prolonged time of isolation is painful. People are really hurting in all aspects of life. There are health issues, financial issues, loneliness, and fear. These are painful times that seem to never end. Help me to recognize how You are preparing me in the process. It is through experiences of pain that You have matured my faith and my trust in You. It is through difficult times that You have given me opportunities to serve You. Because of these experiences, I am able to comfort others who may suffer in similar ways. Suffering causes the community of believers to bind together for help, service, encouragement, and prayer. Help me to remember that You too suffered. You endured the cross to conquer my debt and forgive me of my sins. By Your death, I obtained eternal life. Let the joy of Your salvation pierce through the angst, so that the same powerful gospel that saved me, may transform others. Help me to not grumble and complain, and miss the opportunity for Your grace and love to shine through my life. Help me to remember that Your Word is powerful and You are in ultimate control. Help me to see You working in the process as You use bad things for Your good purposes. It gives me hope and endurance to trust in You. Amen