2 Timothy 4:6 ESV
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.”
Paul was a man of God. He was not perfect, but he was also not living in sin. He lived a morally pure life. He walked the walk of faith in Jesus Christ. He didn’t just talk it. He lived what he preached, which is why he was able to tell people that they should imitate him and his walk of faith. And, because he followed in Jesus’ footsteps, he was hated and persecuted.
So, if we are also those who are walking the walk, and not just talking it, Jesus promised us that we would be hated, persecuted, abused, rejected, despised, falsely accused, falsely arrested, beaten, mocked, and harassed at every turn, just like he was.
Thus, some people (and Satan) will try to trip us up with our words. And, we will be called of the devil, be called crazy, have our family members turn on us and abandon us, and we may even be martyred for our faith in Jesus Christ and for the gospel of our salvation. For, Jesus said that as he was treated, so we would also be treated (Jn. 15:18-21).
So, it should not surprise us when bad things do happen to us, because Jesus said they would. But being abused and misused will hurt, because we are human, and as humans, we get hurt. We cry. We are in pain. We suffer. We bleed. But then we need to cry out those hurts to the Lord. And, we need to pray for his comfort and healing.
And, we must forgive our persecutors, pray for them, do good to them, and say to them what is beneficial for them spiritually, in light of eternity.
We must love them enough to tell them the truth, even while they fiercely attack us physically, or with their words, or with their treatment of us in other ways, such as with cheating, lying, and stealing, etc. But forgiveness is not permission to continue in sin. Forgiveness says, “Go and sin no more.”
2 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”
When we are mistreated, for the sake of righteousness’, we must not try to get even. We can speak the truth in love, as the Lord leads. We can expose the fruitless deeds of darkness for what they are. We can call people to repentance and to obedient faith in Jesus Christ. But vengeance is God’s.
We must also not let others’ treatment of us impact how we live our lives. We shouldn’t allow other humans to have power over our minds and our emotions. It doesn’t mean we won’t hurt or that we won’t cry, but we must keep going. We must keep walking the walk of faith despite how others treat us. We must be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Amen!
Believe me, God is more powerful than any human foe on this planet. He is more powerful than Satan or any demon. God is absolutely sovereign over all that he has made, and he is still on the throne. Satan and his cohorts can only do what they do because God allows it, for a time.
So, trust the Lord with your circumstances. Commit your way to him. And, just follow his lead and do what he says. He has a plan and a purpose for everything you are going through. So, if you put your faith and trust in him, and you love him (walk in obedience to his commands), he will work all things out for your good (for God’s best for you).
God allows bad things in our lives to humble us, to purify us, to make us holy, and to produce in us perseverance and steadfastness of spirit. He disciplines us for our good that we may share in his holiness and that we might have a fruitful harvest of righteousness.
Through our trials he teaches us to rely on him and not on ourselves, and he puts within us passion for his truths and compassion for others who suffer like we do.
So, we must be strong in the Lord, and daily we must put on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us. Daily we must deny self and die to sin and follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands, no matter what others do to us. And, we must keep on speaking the truths of God’s words so that others can be delivered from their sins.
And, one day our Lord will return for us and he will take us to be with him forever. Our salvation will be complete, and there will be no more fighting Satan or sin, for sin will be no more, and Satan will not be able to touch us. Jesus will wipe away all the tears from our eyes, and crying, pain and sorrow will be no more, but only rejoicing. Amen!
2 Timothy 4:9-10 ESV
“Do your best to come to me soon. For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica.”
In the meantime, we live in a fallen world. We will be tempted to sin, but we must not yield. We will have people hate and mistreat us, but we must love them back, which includes speaking the truth in love to them so that they, too, can be delivered from their slavery (addiction, bondage) to sin.
People we love and trust will betray us, and they will abandon us. Even those whose job it is to love and protect us from harm will turn their backs on us and they will do evil against us, willfully, premeditatively, and with full knowledge that what they are doing is hurting us, but they will do it anyway.
“For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people” (2 Tim. 3:2-5).
“And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matt. 24:12-13).
So, we need to be encouraging one another and praying for one another, because it is only going to get worse, not better. The closer we are to the Lord’s return, the more people will turn against God, and against the gospel of Jesus Christ, and against those who are teaching the gospel of Christ.
There’s a Stirring
By Annie Herring
There’s a stirring deep within me
Could it be my time has come
When I’ll see my gracious savior face to face when all is done
Is that his voice I am hearing?
‘Come away, my precious one’
Is he calling me?
I will rise up, rise up
And bow down
And lay my crown
At his wounded feet
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