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I Know Who I Have Believed

by on March 27, 2013

That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know who I have believed, and am convinced that is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for the day.

– 2 Timothy 1.12 (NIV)

As I reflect on my day’s activities today I have to honestly ask ‘am I suffering’ as the Apostle Paul was when he wrote this second epistle to Timothy. This was a time in his life when, to the best of our understanding, he was under arrest and mostly likely in prison facing eminent execution for his faith and his faithfulness to his call to take the gospel to the Gentile world (see 4:6-9, 16-18). While Paul’s life was one of constant danger, imprisonments, beatings, harassments and persecution, mine today is of relative safety, ease and comfort. I write this message from a comfortable office, surrounded by books, resources and friends in the ministry, and also looking forward to sharing our Easter services with our church family.

And yet just yesterday I read through the monthly publication from the Voice of the Martyrs that comes to my office and was reminded that this very day I have brothers and sisters in Christ in various places who are about to die, who are being tortured, deprived, harassed and imprisoned for their faithfulness to Christ. The message that came through from these articles was the joy they found not in the pain, but in the opportunity it gave them to witness to their persecutors, the people who were working on behalf of oppressive authorities but will never have the opportunity to hear the gospel. They share their joys in the conversions of persecutors and in the stories of their ability to witness in the hope that the Holy Spirit will in time use their testimony to bring others to Christ.

This was the message from Paul as he relates to Timothy “through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it” (4:17). His suffering was a tool used by the Spirit to spread the message of hope and life. If we truly ‘know who we have believed in’ and are ‘convinced’ that He will guard His gospel then maybe in our convenient, comfortable and safe environment we too can have the courage to risk the danger of rejection and open our mouths to proclaim this Easter the power, joy and truth of the gospel of resurrection faith. After all, it is God’s ‘job’ to guard it and empower it, ours is to proclaim it and live it through His power.

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