In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he reminds him of the important truth. All they do – is for the furthering of the Gospel – sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, so that many will come to know Christ as Savior and Lord. It is the desire expressed in 2:4 that leads them on a more than difficult road. It isn’t about the temporary things or comfort level, rather it is about the eternal salvation that we all stand in need of.
Their laboring and striving meant exhaustion from carrying the burdens they carried and continuing to “fight the good fight”. The goal was clear (just as it should be for us). It has to be about sharing the Gospel, teaching, and making disciples wherever we find ourselves.
Instead of shrinking back from the fire of struggle, Paul is encouraging Timothy not to shrink back… so he can pursue the ultimate goal: presenting everyone as mature in Christ. It was not Timothy’s task alone, but it is the goal of the Church. The bride of Christ’s goal ought to be the same: to present everyone as mature in Christ.
Their struggle wasn’t theirs alone.
They endured difficulties and dangers for one reason: the hope found in Christ!
We can endure the tougher things in life with this goal in mind, because our hope is in the Lord. Elpizo is the Greek word used for “fixed… hope”. It’s not an empty kind of hope. When we hope in God, it is active and alive. Hope… ” to wait for salvation with joy and full confidence”. Do we have that kind of hope in God? It is a revitalized hope that will stand tall despite what we face. When we hope in Christ, our brand new life springs into action. The powerful God who created the world and each of us is on our side, acting on our behalf. He is our Savior, Deliverer, and Preserver. We can fully hope in the Lord Jesus Christ!
- What kind of hope do we have in Christ, and how does that affect how we view our struggles?
- How are we pursuing to help others mature in Christ?
- Spend time in prayer thinking on these things.
Further Reading: Colossians 1:28-29