2 Timothy 1:1-7 ESV
“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. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 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. 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, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
Discouraged and Disheartened?
Have you ever been discouraged? Disheartened? Do you ever feel beat up on because of your walk of faith in Jesus Christ? You are being faithful to the Lord. You are doing what he has called you to do. You are going wherever he sends you, and you are saying all that he commands you to say, but it seems sometimes that it just falls on deaf ears. Sometimes you wonder if you are making much of a difference at all. Have you been there?
Now, I don’t know what Timothy’s tears were about here, but tears are usually a sign of pain and sorrow. And Paul is encouraging him by reminding him of his sincere faith, and to fan into flame the gift of God within him, for God did not give him a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control. So, it seems obvious to me that Timothy was being faced with some tuff stuff and that he was feeling discouraged and disheartened.
Since we are all human, and we live in flesh bodies, we are all susceptible to this. Our bodies get tired. Our emotions grow weak. Sometimes our minds are tired, too. Sometimes we are in physical pain. And sometimes Satan takes this opportunity to oppose us, to come against us sharply, to accuse us falsely, and to attempt to dishearten and to discourage us. And this is definitely when we need to call on God in prayer for strength and courage.
I remember when the Lord first called me to this writing ministry. I wrote what he gave me to write, as best as I understood it, and I placed it on the internet so that a herald could “run with it,” and in some cases I had no idea where these writings were going or if anyone was reading them at all. And this went on for a long while before I ever got any responses. So I just had to write and post the writings by faith and trust the Lord with them.
It is kind of like stories I have heard missionaries tell over many years where they would talk about going into foreign nations and they would preach the gospel and minister to the needs of the people but it would be years of ministering in these nations sometimes before they would see any fruit for their labors. But by faith they did what God called them to do even though they could not see immediate results, and God did use them there.
So, just because God has called you to a specific ministry, and just because you are doing what he says to do, in his power and strength, it doesn’t mean that you are always going to see how God is using you. So, we have to remember that Scripture that says that God’s word that goes out from his mouth will not return to him empty, but it will accomplish what the Lord desires and it will achieve the purpose for which he sent it (Isaiah 55:11).
So, we walk by faith and not by sight, and we leave the results in God’s hands. We continue in sincere (honest, pure) faith in our Lord without wavering, and we are bold in our witness for him. And we intentionally work on our relationships with the Lord, to make certain we are growing in our walks of faith, and that our faith is not being hindered in any way, and that we are not giving way to fear, but that we are continuing to obey our Lord.
2 Timothy 1:1-7 ESV
“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, 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, 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, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 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.”
Don’t Be Ashamed
Please know here that if you are truly following the Lord Jesus with your life, and if you are holding fast to the truths of the Scriptures in a day and age when many are not, you are not usually going to be voted most popular. You get that, don’t you? You will be opposed, even by pastors, elders, Bible teachers, other Christians (or professing Christians), family, and friends, etc. But make certain that what you are doing first is truly of God.
Since you are in the minority, at least here in America, and I am certain in other nations, too, you are going to be faced with a lot of opposition. People are going to try to prove you wrong. They will try to discredit you, or they will twist your words to saying something you are not saying. First make certain that what you are teaching is in line with the Scriptures, in context, but then go out there and share with others the truth of God’s Word.
Don’t be ashamed of sharing the truth of God’s word in an era when the bulk of what is called church, at least here in America, is going the way of the world, and is following a false half-truth gospel which has been altered to appease the flesh of humans. Yes, you are in the minority but the majority are not in the right. Remember that it is the broad road that many take that leads to destruction, and few follow the narrow road that leads to life.
So, don’t be afraid of being in the minority. Don’t let that discourage you. Don’t be afraid of being opposed, even by people with bible college or seminary degrees. Just because they have a title of Doctor or Reverend does not make them in the right and you in the wrong. Many of them are following the way of error that leads to destruction and that does not end in eternal life. So, stay the course! Keep on speaking the truth!
For we are called to suffering. We will be hated. We will be persecuted. The majority will not listen to us. A remnant will. So don’t let lack of obvious results or persecution or opposition discourage you from following Jesus in the way that he would have you to go. Just keep doing what God has called you to do. Keep sharing the truth even if you think no one is listening. We never know whose lives are being impacted by our obedience.
An Original Work / December 24, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
The Word of God throughout taught.
Some people heard but did doubt.
Still others had faith in Christ.
By grace He purified them.
They turned from sin
And they obeyed Christ.
He opened up their blinded eyesight;
Turned them from darkness
To the true Light;
Forgave their sin by His might.
He strengthened them in their faith.
He said, “Remain my faithful.”
He called them to obedience.
By faith, they were so grateful.
By faith, they were to follow Jesus;
To daily sit and listen to Him;
To have such faith
That mountains could move;
To love those whom He gave them.
Be on your guard; courageous.
Stand firm in faith. Be thankful.
Take up the shield of your faith;
Protect against all evil.
Do not move from
The hope that you have.
Your faith in Jesus let it endure.
Hold to the truth;
Your conscience be clear.
Endure with perseverance.