But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. ~2 Timothy 3:10-11
There is a large mass of land off the coast of the United Kingdom that stands 1,400 feet above the sea known as the Rock of Gibraltar. This mass has been used as an analogy for strength, steadfastness, and determination. To say something is "like the Rock of Gibraltar” conveys safety and reliability. In our devotion this morning, Paul makes a statement to Timothy that testified of Paul being like the Rock of Gibraltar, showing steadfastness. Webster’s Dictionary defines steadfastness as “firmly fixed in place; not given to change.” This morning, let us see how Paul was like the Rock of Gibraltar.
We see the personal RESOLVE.
Paul was imprisoned in the Mamertine Prison awaiting his execution. Nero was the Emperor of Rome and creating havoc among Christians. Persecution was rampant. Defection from the Christian faith was not uncommon. The spirit of the time could be described as selfishness, disobedience, and abandonment. In spite of all this, Paul resolved that would he was not giving up or quitting. He told Timothy, “But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch...” His enemies thought to have worn him down and to make him renounce his faith. Paul was a man possessed with personal resolve.
We see the peculiar RESISTANCE.
Paul resisted the temptation to compromise or to quit. I imagine that the devil many times whispered in his ear that he was a loser, and that his faith in Christ did nothing for him when it came to fame and fortune. However, Paul resisted every temptation to quit or abandon ship. He said, “Thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering...” Like Paul, we must personally resist the invitations of Satan. We must resist the temptation to change for the sake of convenience. We must resist the temptation to throw in the towel. We must resist the temptation to give up on the purpose and calling God has given us. Paul maintained a peculiar resistance.
We see the patient RESILIENCE.
“Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured...” Paul referred back to the time when he was dragged out of Lystra and stoned by the Jews. He most likely still bore the physical scars from that horrific incident. At a minimum, he sustained bruises, and most likely he had broken bones and bled profusely. However, as the other disciples stood round about him, he rose up! He could have stayed down, but he got up! He got up and went right back into Lystra! He returned to his mission and remained obedient to his mandate. He endured, or stayed with it! Learn to weather the storms of life! Learn to be impervious to the pain of criticism! Have great faith when there are seasons of push-back and rejection. Have a patient resilience!
We see a profitable REWARD.
Paul said, “Out of them all the Lord delivered me.” He saw God’s power work in and through him. He saw his enemies get saved! He saw his enemies respect him! He saw new believers being encouraged through his testimony and becoming flaming evangels themselves. He saw the churches he started flourish and grow. His resilient faith, powerful resolve, and peculiar resistance earned him a profitable reward.
Maybe you are going through a tough time: be steadfast in your faith and determination! Have faith in God and believe that God will make a way for you. Be steadfast like the Rock of Gibraltar!
Have a steadfast God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Numbers 14-15