A friend told me this morning that he has given up. He’s tried, he’s prayed, he’s cried, but God won’t answer. So he’s giving up. He’s going back to the life he had before God entered his life. At least in that life he had friends. At least in that life he had money.
What can I tell him? I’ve seen his struggle. From the outside looking in, it looks like he has nothing. No real home, no money, no independence. What can I tell him? Should I just say goodbye and good luck?
Then I read 2 Timothy 4. Paul is charging his disciples to continue preaching the word — rebuking, reproving and uplifting one another. Why? In verse 1, he tells us that in the end, Jesus will judge us. Whether we’re alive or dead. Then he gives us his own testimony of how he endured many afflictions, how he “fought the good fight … finished my course … kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day…” verses 7 and 8.
Paul endured a lot for the gospel and if you were to look at his life on this earth you might say “What was it all for? He ended up in prison and being executed.” As Christians, we are called to look at the bigger picture. Life for us on this planet may be hard, especially if we’re following God’s principles. But remember Paul’s words in 2 Tim 4:8 “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day”. This is not our final home. God is preparing a reward for us. But in order for us to get that reward, we must stand strong down here.
Related verses: Matthew 5:11-12; Matthew 6:1-3
Today, don’t underestimate what you have. It may look small and insignificant. Compared to what you’re facing, it seems impossible; but when God breathes on your life, the odds dramatically change! Stay open, keep expecting, stay close to Him and watch Him do something extraordinary in your life!
Be encouraged and Stand Strong!