But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance.
2 Timothy 3:10, NLT*
I don’t know about you, but when I think of the Apostle Paul, patience and love aren’t top of my list of descriptions. I mean no disrespect to this ambassador for Christ—he’s a hero of the faith. But he sounds like he was a hard fellow to live and work with.
Faith? His was more than intellectual belief. He lived it, and died for it.
Endurance? He suffered frequent persecution and abuse for his faith. One of my favourite Paul stories is when he and Silas were in prison in Philippi, singing praises to God in the middle of the night. [Acts 16:16-40]
Paul definitely knew “the secret of living [and being content] in every situation.”
Perhaps this is where his patience appeared: in endurance and in persisting in relying on God. And his love wasn’t the soft, huggy kind, but his letters reveal a passionate commitment to the well-being and growth of Christians everywhere. He thanks God for them, he prays for them, and he fights for them.
Sovereign God, You were with Paul and You are with us today. Let us learn from Paul’s example. Help us to remember and rely on Your presence and power. Lord, we believe. Help our unbelief in those times when we don’t anchor to You. Help us choose to praise You no matter what, and to keep our eyes on You instead of on the problems.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.