For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. ~2 Timothy 1:12
Whenever we enter into a business, financial, or performance-related transaction, we put the terms of agreement in writing. All parties list the obligations, limitations, and exclusions down so that everyone knows what is to be expected. When we arrive at our final agreement, all parties involved sign off in the presence of a notary public as witness. We call the finished result “a done deal.” Paul made a statement in our devotion this morning that was “a done deal.” This morning, it is my prayer that the exhortation of Paul will encourage you about some things God has done for us that are a done deal.
We see the painful CONFLICTS.
Paul was in the Mamertine Prison of Rome awaiting his execution by beheading. Counting down the days before his life was to be taken out by one blow must have been troublesome. In addition to this, many people who would have called themselves his friends disassociated with him perhaps out of fear, fallout, or unanswered questions. Paul said that he suffered trouble as an evil doer. Paul said, “Demas hath forsaken me; Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil; no man stood with me.” Then, to compound all this was the concern Paul had for his young protégé-in-the-faith, Timothy. Timothy was lacking faith in God’s ability to strengthen and help him as a Christian, pastor, and friend to Paul. Paul was going through many painful conflicts. Let us remember that conflicts and suffering cannot be avoided and are part of the Christian journey.
We see the powerful CONFIDENCE.
Paul acknowledged his sufferings. He said, “For the which cause I also suffer these things.” However, Paul was not downcast or defeated. If anything, his situation emboldened his faith. He said, “Nevertheless I am not ashamed.” His passion for the gospel was stronger than ever. He did not deny that he was a Christian and preacher of the gospel. He saw his afflictions as God’s means of allowing him to see God’s power work through him. He had confidence in his message. He also had confidence in his Master. He said, “I know whom I have believed.” His faith in God was unshakable in his time of deepest distress. His faith in the Lord was stronger at that moment than at any time before. His many hours of sequestering alone with God in prayer and in His Word deepened his faith. His many persecutions and harrowing experiences fortified his belief of God’s faithfulness. Everything he endured only helped him to love the appearing of the Lord even more. He had no doubt about the fact that he was in the center of God’s will for his life, and that everything would work together for good because he loved God. Do you know who you believe in? Is your relationship in Christ so rock-solid that the storms of life cannot make you quit?
We see the persuaded CONCLUSION.
Paul said, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” How do you explain this unshakable faith of the Apostle Paul? He knew without any shadow of doubt that God is able! He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think! He is able to save and keep us! He is able to answer our prayers! He is able to sustain us when the bottom feels like it is falling out beneath us. He is able until the end! How is this possible? Because He is God Who cannot fail! God can do anything but fail! Paul experienced the power of God over and over. God’s sufficient grace prepared him for his moment of exit. Paul did not pray to be taken out of prison or from execution. Paul was ready to depart and be with his Lord, which was far better. When we arrive at the place in our faith when we know that God is able, we are at a place in our faith where we are unstoppable!
Paul is telling us that what God has done for us is a done deal. May God increase our faith, foresight, and fervency to where we, too, can testify, to know that God is able!
Have a faith-empowered God Morning!