Tuesday, April 11, 2017

FULLY PERSUADED OF GOD’S LOVE

“I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day” (2 Timothy 1:12, my italics). These are the words of a dying man. The apostle Paul was addressing his pupil, the young minister-in-training, Timothy. Later in the same letter, Paul confides to Timothy these difficult words: “I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (4:6-7).
Although Paul directed these words to Timothy, his message speaks to every servant of Christ who is facing a great affliction. Consider the context: At the height of his own excruciating trials — at the very point of death — Paul was fully persuaded of God’s love for him. Moreover, he was convinced of the Lord’s ability to “keep what I have committed to Him” in spite of all evidence to the contrary.
Beloved, Paul’s counsel here is meant for all who are buffeted daily by satanic forces, engaged in fierce spiritual warfare, enduring great hardships as good soldiers. How was Paul able to speak so confidently of God’s faithfulness through his every trial? What exactly was he persuaded of about the Lord that gave birth to such faith?
Paul never does spell out the things he had “committed to [God] until that Day.” We can only speculate as to what those things were. Yet, like Paul, we too must be fully persuaded of God’s faithfulness to keep those things we have committed to Him. Indeed, to face our trials in these trying days, we must be fully persuaded that Jesus is our Lord and our Savior.