Encouragements for our troubled times No. 11

COVID-19 Series | Date: 04 June 2020

The Elders and Deacons want to encourage the members and those who regularly meet with us through this weekly letter. If you have news which you would be happy to share with the fellowship or request for prayer, then please let us know.

A message from your Pastor

2 Timothy 1:12

“For this reason 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 what I have committed to Him until that Day.”

In this passage, Paul is seeking to encourage Timothy to remain faithful in the Lord’s work in the face of suffering: to do this he sets before Timothy his own testimony and personal faith in the Saviour. May this be both an encouragement and a challenge to us at this time.

Firstly, Paul says that he is not ashamed when he suffers as a Christian. Suffering is not something which is inconsistent with faith in Christ, but it is something which we accept as part of our lot while we are here on earth. We suffer because we exist in fallen bodies and live in a fallen world, among fallen people. In all this, however, we have a Saviour to glorify and a Name to live up to.

We also suffer because we are the Lord’s people; we bear His reproach from a world that neither knows Him nor loves Him. All that we suffer in this world, we suffer as Christians and for our Saviour and that is a noble cause and an honourable calling.

There is another reason why Paul is not ashamed of his suffering for the faith; he knows ‘Whom’ he has believed. He knows Him personally as his Saviour, Lord and Friend. Others may suffer for their idols, but they are suffering for a mere concept or cause. We suffer for One Who loves us and Who gave Himself for us; Who is worthy of all our love and loyalty.

We know ‘Whom we have believed’; and everything we know of Him and all that we have experienced of His love, loyalty, faithfulness, wisdom, kindness, goodness, power and mercy, fully persuades us that He is able to keep ‘what we have committed to Him against that Day’, doesn’t it? He loved us and gave Himself for us and He did that, while we were yet sinners. We fail Him and turn back to those things which He has saved us from, yet He still loves us and brings us back to Himself. He will never leave us nor forsake us and never let us go. His love, His sacrifice, His faithfulness and His Almighty power convinces us that He will keep all that we have committed to Him (our life, our soul, our eternity) now and against that day of judgement and perdition of men.

Are we, like Paul, fully persuaded of our Lord’s love for us and power to keep us? we should be and have no reason not to be.