…if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. – 2Tim. 2:13 NIV
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The Devotional for today is the second part of the Devotional with the same title where the Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy, and by so doing other Christians to remain faithful amidst trials and tribulations. He had noticed that Timothy was failing in faith and was becoming scared sufficiently to affect his role as a worker in the vineyard, so he encouraged him to fan into flame the gift of God that was in him. It can then be concluded that despite the gift that he possessed, the experiences of tribulations and trials that the Apostle Paul was going through, was discouraging him to continue in the faith.
Advising him not allow such reasons for unfaithfulness to have root and to encourage him in fulfilling his role in the vineyard of God, he gave him a set of advise that could strengthen him amidst all such trials and tribulations which are listed below;
- He advised him to remain strong in the Grace that is in Christ Jesus – 2Tim. 2:1.
- He advised him to entrust all that he has heard from him to reliable men who will keep the message alive – 2Tim. 2:2.
- He advised him to prepare to endure hardships like a good soldier of Christ – 2Tim. 2:3.
- He told him to focus on pleasing his commanding officer – who in this case is Jesus Christ – 2Tim. 2:4.
- He advised him to work fully according to the directives of God – 2Tim. 2:5.
He reminded him that Jesus Christ being a descendant of David, and the focal point of the gospel that he was preaching could not be chained down (Acts 2:24), and so, even if he is chained down, the gospel he passed unto him cannot and should not be chained down. He should be willing to endure all things for the sake of the elect, so that they too can be saved and brought into eternal glory through the spread of the gospel. He added that enduring all pain and hardships will not only put him in a position to help others attain the objective of Jesus Christ for all, but will also prove him faithful to Jehovah. He reminded him of the following fundamental truths, one of which is the foundation scripture for today’s Devotional:
- That If we die with him, we will also live with him – 2Tim. 2:11. To die may not always be physical death but may be material loss or other forms of losses that makes us lose relevance in some way or the other. The Apostle Paul reminds all that such deaths will not be in vain as there is assurance that when he rises into the situation, we will also arise with him, and even if this is in reference to physical death, we have the assurance that we will rise with him on the last day. That should be sufficient encouragement for the one that is thinking heaven-wards – Matt. 5:10-12; 1Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 13:14.
- That if we endure, we will also reign with him – 2Tim. 2:12a. It will not just be about rising from dead but also being able to reign eternally with him. To endure will be to be resolute in retaining our faith in him and his words, not minding the discomfort that will be associated with such decision. It is simply our willingness not to trade our faith in Jehovah for any other solution outside His Will for us in that situation. It is by doing this that we become assured of reigning with him when he comes to collect his own people.
- If we disown him, he will also disown us – 2Tim. 2:12b. Disowning him is to do the opposite of all that has been stated in 2 above. The one who claims to be a Christian but is willing to accept any suggestion different from his Will in any situation has actually disowned him. No matter how much claims is being made to being a devoted worshipper, such should expect to be denied before the throne of Grace, by him – Matt. 10:32-33. It will always be about those occasions when such a person denied him in other to avoid a discomfort or have an advantage.
- That if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself – 2Tim. 2:13. To remain faithful is to remain loyal, steadfast and willing to openly confess and defend matters of Jehovah at all times. It is not the one who only expresses loyalty to Jehovah verbally that will be recognised, but the one that was willing to go through afflictions and trials because of his name and has come out clean and white as snow – Rev. 7:14; 22:14.
Christians need to understand that the whole effort of living the Christian lifestyle in this realm can become wasted if they do not remain faithful to him during trials and afflictions. In truth, affliction is not desirable, and so no one looks forward to experiencing it, either directly or indirectly, especially since attempts to avoid it accounts for the reason why majority of people became Christians in the first place. However, it will also remain life truth that any form of success can only be the product of a willingness to confront necessary trials and tribulations, with the only assurance for the Christian being that they will overcome – Jn. 16:33. To expect not to have any challenging situation in life simply because one has accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour is to live in the proverbial fool’s paradise. It will only be utopia as whether you are seeking success or not, there will always be life challenges and you will be better off taking full advantage of those challenges by turning them into stepping stones to success rather than allowing them to be the path to failure.
Life challenges, rather than being considered strange event that can make the Christian become unfaithful due to wrong reaction, should be an experience that will move the true Christian closer to Jehovah and Jesus Christ, as that remains the assured source of power required to overcome such situations. Doing anything different will be similar to running out of a fenced compound due to the roaring of lions stationed outside the fence. Such will have only succeeded in moving from safety into danger.
The one who however still chooses to run out of the fence will not only be a victim of the roaring threats but will also be rejected on the last day for acts of unfaithfulness. This is because Jesus Christ will also disown such due to the act of unfaithfulness, which translates to denying him.
Do all you can to endure all trials and temptations and remain faithful till the end as that is what is expected of you, and He will equally remain faithful to every promise He has made to keep you safe and victorious through them all and grant you His assured place with him in eternity. May God grant us all the strength to remain faithful till the end in Jesus name. Amen.