“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am 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” (II Timothy 1:12).
Suffering abounds without discrimination! On all sides we hear of sickness, abuse, accidents, and other calamities. In our immaturity we think Christians shouldn’t have to suffer. We are God’s children and ought to be treated better by our Father than those around us. Nevertheless, the assaults keep coming, and we have little peace.
Paul was called to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In doing so, he too suffered in many ways—sickness, abuse, imprisonment. Yet, he was not ashamed of his calling or of the treatment he had to endure. For he had received of God power, love, and a sound mind for the job at hand (II Timothy 1:7). His was a holy calling according to Jesus’ own purpose and grace and was given before the world was formed (II Timothy 1:9). He was assured rather than ashamed.
The reasons Paul gave for his assurance in what he was doing was that, first, he knew personally the one in whom he believed. “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Secondly, Paul was persuaded that God was able to deliver on His promises. “For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not His saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off” (Psalm 37:28). “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:14,15).
May we be fully committed to Him, in spite of sufferings, “against that day.” KBC