Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
Because of this, in fact, I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, because I know the one in whom my faith is set and I am convinced that he is able to protect what has been entrusted to me until that day. Hold to the standard of sound words that you heard from me and do so with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 1.12-13
Paul was nearing the end of his life. This is the last known letter that he wrote. He wrote to Timothy, his son in the faith, to encourage him to stand firm in the faith. Earlier he had told Timothy to not be ashamed to admit his faith in Jesus and in Paul. Timothy could be fearful at times. He would get caught up in useless discussions that served no purpose but to draw the focus away from Jesus and the work that Timothy was to be doing. Paul in 1.7 wrote to Timothy that God did not give him a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control. If we are fearful, we need to recognize that fear does not come from God. He gives us the same spirit of power, love, and self-control that he gave to Timothy. If we are called upon to suffer because of our faith in Jesus, we should not be ashamed. We should look to Jesus in whom our faith is set. We need to have the same conviction that Paul demonstrated that Jesus is capable. Do you let doubt creep in? Do you let fear get a foothold? Go back to the sound words that we hear from Paul and Jesus. We have to continue in the faith and love that are in Jesus Christ to remain strong in our faith. Read your Bible! For it is there and only there that we will find the sound words that are to be our model to follow.