Thursday, July 9th
When I think about my faith journey and where it all began, a big part of it was formed from the family that I grew up in. God blessed me with parents who loved God and were devoted to serving Him in everything that they did, whether it was at work or at church. As I got older and difficult situations or decisions would arise, I always found myself going to my parents for advice and wisdom. Through every conversation, they would share what the Bible had to say and they also shared about how God has been faithful to them during their hard times. This was always a comfort for me.
About a year and half ago my father was diagnosed with cancer. There were weeks and months of waiting for either test results or treatment plans, so during that time I found myself thinking constantly of the future and what it would look like if God decided to take my father home to be with Him. What would happen to all the stories and advice that he shared with his children and grandchildren? Would I be able to pass those stories onto my own children? What would it be like when both my parents are gone? What would it look like if I didn’t have them to encourage me in my walk with Christ or to give me advice when I face situations that seem impossible?
While studying Paul’s letter to Timothy, it makes me wonder if Timothy ever had similar thoughts. When Paul, in his last days, was encouraging him to not be ashamed of the gospel and to guard the treasure, what was going through Timothy’s mind? (2 Tim. 1:8 and 2 Tim. 2:14) Was he uncertain of what that would look like? Would he wonder how he’d be able to do it all on his own without Paul encouraging him?
I think as believers we can feel so alone when we try to stand up for the gospel. Instead, we need to realize that God will always be with us and will provide people like Paul in our life to encourage us in what God has called us to do. If we try to accomplish anything in our own ability, nothing will get done, but only through God’s power in our lives can we carry on the message that was given to us through His Word (2 Tim. 1:7).
Do you have a godly person in your life that’s been an encourager for you or has God called you to equip and encourage others? What helps you to continue in the faith when the future seems so uncertain or when you begin to doubt your own abilities?