‘I HAVE CONFIDENCE IN…’
O God, you are great beyond measure and deserve the highest praise. I can’t begin to have words that reflect your majesty; I long to use all that I am to glorify you.
Read 2 TIMOTHY 1:8-18
8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.
13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
Examples of Disloyalty and Loyalty
15 You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes.
16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. 18 May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectOn her way to the Trapp family, Maria (Julie Andrews, The Sound of Music) sang that she had confidence in herself, boosting herself against nervousness by singing, ‘I can do this!’ What things about yourself do you have confidence in? Why?
Paul’s great confidence in the gospel shines through these words. He can even welcome his suffering because of why it is happening (v 8). His whole focus here is good news in Jesus, encapsulated in verse 10. That leads him to have this confidence in who he is, not who he is in his own strength, or in his own abilities, but because of who he is in Christ (v 11). He knows that what strengths he has are because of Jesus.
Paul wrote in Romans 12 that we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought (Romans 12:3). His words here also imply that we should have a right opinion of ourselves, one that recognizes who and what we are in Christ—we are the result ‘of his own purpose and grace’ (v 9). Paul is confident in his salvation, his calling, and appointing; he is confident in his message and is confident that his suffering—abandoned (v 15) and in prison—is part of that. Notice, too, Paul’s thankfulness for Onesiphorus—‘not ashamed’—whose humble faithfulness has helped him in this work of the gospel (vs 16-18).
Is it easier for you to see God using your strengths than your weaknesses for his sake? Meditate on more of Paul’s words—1 Corinthians 1:27; 2 Corinthians 12:8-10; 2 Corinthians 13:4— be encouraged to see God’s purposes to bring himself glory in all that you are.
Father, I commit my abilities, my strengths, and my weaknesses to you to use as you choose—all for the sake of the gospel.
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