Enduring: It’s Not about You
8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, 9for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. 10 For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. –2 Timothy 2:8-10
Why would we go through suffering?
According to Paul, we suffer hardship because of the Gospel, because Jesus is the Christ and we recognize Him as Lord of all. This suffering may look different for every person who belongs to Him, but we will face our own hardships.
Why do we endure though?
We endure because the word of God is not under hardship or imprisonment. It is free to work and bring freedom and deliverance. For as much as I would like to make it, the word is not about me, and my difficulties are not constraining the word of God. We endure these things because there are others who need the truth, who have been chosen to receive His salvation and glory.
I would dare say, most don’t have this revelation. We tend to think we are enduring alone. It certainly can feel that way after all. Life can be harsh and the isolation that comes as a result can seem deeply personal and wounding.
Instead of blaming God and getting upset at our condition, this is the moment to praise Him because His word is still working. We aren’t standing simply for our own breakthrough, but for hundreds and thousands around us or even yet to be born.
That’s a humbling and incredible thing, but His word is that powerful. Remember that He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can ask or think, according to the power at work within us (Ephesians 3:20).
Paul also said,
28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me. –Colossians 1:28-29
We labor, we endure, we stand because there is a powerful word at work bringing people into a completeness. Nowhere does it tell us that this is only for the spiritual elite or the pastor or the leader. Your endurance will affect generations and multiple lives, because the word is free!
- Your standing in your marriage
- Your believing for prodigal children to return to the Father
- Your trusting Him with your business through financial difficulty
- Your staying with a church congregation that doesn’t seem to “offer much”
- Your sowing into a community that doesn’t seem to care whether you’re there or not
In all this enduring, the word of God is working and bringing people into a deeper knowledge of Him. How does He do that? I don’t know exactly, but it’s a miracle to behold.
And you thought you were alone? Not hardly. Be encouraged today. Look around you and see the multitude standing with you.
What are your thoughts on these verses? What do you think about what I’ve said here?