As I wrestled through 2 Timothy this week, I was challenged by the theme of endurance. Life is hard. Paul says…
You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David,as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. The saying is trustworthy, for:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself. (2 Timothy 2:1-13)
I couldn’t help remembering last year’s Dodge Truck Superbowl ad as I thought about the hardworking farmer. Here you go if you’d like a refresher. May we too be made strong, like the farmer (or the soldier, or the athlete) by grace: