Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Fri, 01/10/2010 – 15:50
Year C (2009-2010)
Bible Book: 2 Timothy / 2 Timoteus
Verse: 1 – 14
Paul wrote this letter while in prison (cf v 8 & 16). Many Christians in the province of Asia had deserted him (v 15). He foresaw that the times to come would be perilous for faithful Christians (cf 3:1). According to 4:6 Paul even expected that this imprisonment might lead to his own death sentence.
Even though he was disappointed with the way in which Christians reacted to his imprisonment Paul did not succumb to pessimism. He wrote this letter to encourage Timothy to persevere in serving God faithfully.
How was it possible for Paul to encourage his protégé in such difficult times and to remain so full of hope?
Although he was in prison and although he was let down by many Christians, Paul was still consciously living in the presence of God from day to day.
God had shown his trustworthiness in generations past. “I pray to the God my ancestors and I have served with a clear conscience” (v 3b – CEV). The faith of Timothy’s grandmother and his mother also confirmed this (v 5). God had planned to make his grace known through Jesus Christ and to save Paul and Timothy even before time began (v 9-10). This included God’s gift of eternal life. “It has now been made known through the coming of our Savior, Christ Jesus. He has destroyed death. Because of the good news, he has brought life out into the light. That life never dies” (v 10 – NIRV).
Paul knew from experience that God provided daily. “God didn’t give us a spirit that makes us weak and fearful. He gave us a spirit that gives us power and love. It helps us control ourselves” (v 7 – NIRV). Even when everyone was ashamed of Paul’s imprisonment Onesiphorus visited him in his cell (v 16-17). Therefore Paul could assure Timothy of God’s grace, mercy and peace (v 2).
Paul also knew that God would remain trustworthy in times to come, irrespective of what people might do to him. “I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return” (v 12b – NLT).
God is faithful. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Therefore there is hope in difficult times and even when it may seem as if the end is near.
To think about or discuss: Do you have hope? What are your reasons?
Author: N du Toit (Ds)