That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. 2 Timothy 1:12 (NIV).
The “whom” Paul believed in is obviously Jesus; duh. What about the rest of the verse? What is it that Jesus is “able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day?” What does it mean to you?
By the time Paul wrote 2 Timothy, he knew the executioner’s axe was imminent. Can you imagine the emotional suffering? This letter is his farewell to both his protégé and his earthly ministry. Years before, Paul vowed to live out the years of his life in service to the Lord Jesus, who met him on a desert road to Damascas. Paul had spent years prior to this fully committed to destroying the nascent church of “the Way”. He had been responsible for destroying numerous small congregations and torturing, even killing, some of their leaders.
The Apostle knew what was in store for him when he agreed to follow this Jesus who struck him blind, then healed him. Paul would live out his life as a herald for Christ, proudly, boldly, confidently, and wisely. On that road, Paul entrusted his entire future – both temporal and eternal – to Christ because he had personally experienced who Jesus really was. That which Paul had entrusted to Jesus was simply everything, only his life, only what mattered most. Paul saw things as they were, perhaps for the first time in his life, and reasoned that the only real reason for living was to follow this Jesus who was exactly who the prophets and other apostles said He was.
What does that mean to you?
I get uncomfortable when people talk about their ‘personal relationship with Jesus Christ.’ Or when they outline how He talks to them (and they talk back). That simply isn’t my experience with Him. I’ve said it before: I don’t recall any particular “saving” moment in my past. I simply know I was saved because He did it. My parents had me baptized when I was a baby. My family regularly attended church, where I learned the basics of the faith. As an adult, I was blessed to learn more. I can’t remember when Jesus saved me in my own timeline but I’ve felt His peace in numerous times since. I always wanted “God-moments;” I’ve been blessed to know many.
And like Paul (and hopefully you), I entrusted to Him that which matters most: everything. It’s really quite liberating to realize He’s in control and we never really are. If the future means suffering, so be it. If it is celebrating, so be that too. I’m all in.
For further reading: Mark 8:38, 1 Timothy 6:20, 1 Corinthians 1:8, 2 Timothy 13.
Lord Jesus, I again today give everything to You. It’s Yours alone.