People=Struggles

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2 Timothy 4:6-18

People are...people (human) and we see that pretty clearly from 2 Timothy 4:8-16 today. Some will stand strong with us in God's work, some will work with us for a season and still others will desert or even oppose us. Yet, we're all part of the Body and called to work together for Christ.

So how can we use 2 Timothy 4:8-16 to help us keep on keeping on with people--other brothers and sisters in Christ--as we do the work God has for us? Tami W.

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14 Comments

Paul's experience is both sad and encouraging. Paul had run the race faithfully, as Christ was obiedient, and therefore Paul was abandoned, left alone. That must have been hard for him. What a blessing to know that God's love will always sustain and protect us. He will never abandon us even at our lowest point....He is not human. That is what is so encouraging and what keeps us running the race.

God will NEVER leave us or forsake us - unlike people. Remembering that, and watching for His empowering will be an encouragement to us in whatever we face. He gives us his Holy Spirit as comforter as well. (Definitely not the only ministry of the Holy Spirit - just one of them.)

The important lesson here is that regardless of what others did or did not do, Paul kept his focus until the end. Describing life as a battle he fought a good fight. Describing life as a marathon, he ran a good race. Describing life as sacred trust, he kept the faith. Nothing to do now but receive his crown> We don't look to others but to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." Hebrews 3:13 . one thing i don't do enough of sometimes is encourage fellow believers . the word here says to do this daily and i believe it's to keep each other from getting trapped by the world and sin . paul had people abandon him and so will we but that doesn't change the scripture and Gods will for us . i pray we will all begin to be the encouragement the Lord wants us to be ...

So many times in the life of the church or ministry in general, we get so focused on what others aren't doing that it's distracting us from fully moving ahead with our own work. It's not for us to point the finger, but to move ever faithfully toward the goal that has been set for us. Oh, to be able to say what Paul said as he neared the end of his life, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me." Nothing else mattered to him. Just to stay focused as we move down that narrow way that leads to OUR prize. That will be a day!!

Whenever it feels like it is a struggle with people, I have to remember that my "struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Eph 6:12 Sometimes I forget that all to quickly and make it about me. I really have to remember God is Sovereign and He promises me, he'll never give me more than I can handle. I am so thankful that through the Bible, God gives me clear examples of good and poor ways that people handle themselves. If I let God lead, then the examples will either encourage me or convict me of something He wanted pointed out.

This makes me reflect on an actual marathon. Some are strong and finish well, others fall away, and then there are those who determine to finish, no matter how ugly or painful the process. Somewhere along the way some stop for water and power bars. I realize that I am not done, but in need of His "living water" and a boost of power from his "living word". I will not fall out but place one step in front of the other till the Holy Spirit revives me to complete my given task. "Stay focused, look to the hills from whence your help comes from." Psalm 121.

This passage is a great testimony for believers and serves to encourage us to keep the faith and continue always to work for the Lord. Verse 17 provides the required encouragement,"the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength..." This reminds us that the Lord will always support us even when our friends desert us. Verse 18 tells us the the Lord also protects us, "The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack..." The Lord is our support and protector but he also rewards us for our efforts and this is shown in verse 8, "Now there is is in store for me a crown of righteousness...." We are encouraged, protected and rewarded for doing the Lord's work, the question then is why shouldn't we always be doing the Lord's work. We also have David's life story, his challenges, God's protection and God's rewards to encourage us to alwayss do God's work.

Everyone here has really hit the nail on the head with this passage in Timothy. What we see also is how much Paul respects and depends on Timothy to continue the ministry. Surrounding yourself with strong like minded individuals doesn't hurt. My advice for anyone struggling to find their way is to abide in the word. You will feel God with you as long as you abide in him.

WE ARE IN VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL THIS WEEK WE ARE TALKING ABOUT WHAT GOD THINKS OF US. WE STUDY LAST NIGHT ALL THE STRUGGLES JOSEPH WENT THRU AND THE LORD WAS WITH HIM ALL THE WAY. WHERE HE AND HIS FAMILY GOT REUNITED. JUST LIKE PAUL HE WENT THRU HIS UPS AND DOWNS. GOD WAS STILL THERE DESPITES OUR FAILINGS . WHEN WE CANNOT COUNT ON AMNYONE ELSE INCLUDING FAMILY WE CAN COUNT ON OUR LORD AND SAVIOR FOR BEING THERE.

Whenever I feel forsaken by the people I expected support from, I find strength in the life and words of David. In 1 Samuel 30:6, his friends and colleagues spoke of stoning him after something went wrong in the camp. While everyone was against him, David encouraged himself in the LORD! He found refuge and strength in Him. David remarked at one point: "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up" (Psalm 27:10). It is encouraging to know that our reward is from the Righteous Judge and He knows and will not forget our labour of love....even when others forget or forsake us.

For me the most striking verse here is 18:

The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom.

Paul confesses that not everything will turn out rosy in this life, but God is faithful and will usher him into eternity with love and grace. We need to develop this same confidence in God's ultimate victory, justice and expression of love.

Who can we always depend upon? God. Who will always invariably be against us? humankind. As many of you have said in the blog, let us stay focussed on the Lord's work. He will never ever let us down. His Word is the Truth, the Life and the Way. We all can testify to this, so no matter what adversities come our way stay focussed on God. No matter how many people are against you, God is with you so trust in and obey Him. When Paul did not know better he persecuted the Christians but as soon as God showed him the light he never turned back, so let us not turn back. We may falter but He is there to pick us up, brush us off and continue to lead and guide us on that straight and narrow path. Trust Him only.

Wow, really great comments and insight from everyone. Thank you all! I'm learning so much.

~ Eric.

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About Me

Hi, my name is Tami Weissert, the P4 facilitator and the "voice" behind the blogs. I'm passionate about helping people grow spiritually and actively encourage Bible engagement through conference speaking and writing. I also served as co-host of the Back to the Bible radio program for over 8 years. A little about me. I'm married to Jeff, and we love scuba diving, playing with our 3 dachshunds and going to Husker football games. I also love growing orchids, singing and Diet Pepsi. I hope you'll join in the conversation as we read the Bible and grow together.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Tami W published on June 9, 2010 5:00 AM.

Dark But Impressive was the previous entry in this blog.

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