A Reason to Suffer

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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. 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. 2 Timothy 1:8-12

Life is full of suffering. But when suffering has no reason, life becomes unbearable. We can only endure suffering if we know the reason for it. Paul suffered persecution and eventually, at the time of this writing, imprisonment. But he was willing to go through it, endure it, and even rejoice in it, because he knew why he was suffering. He was suffering for the Gospel. He was challenging Timothy to do the same because of two reasons: 1) the Gospel promises true salvation for this life (vv.8-9a) and 2) the Gospel promises true hope for the next life (vv.9b-12). The Gospel promises true salvation for this life and true hope for the next life. Therefore, it’s worth living and dying for even now. Although it might entail suffering now, the Gospel promises everything — everything that we truly need for life now and forever. Be willing to suffer if it means life now and forever.

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