2 Timothy 3:12-15 Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived. But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy was written by the Apostle Paul to the young Christian leader Timothy to encourage him and give him a better understanding of his duties. Paul was writing this epistle from prison, and if it is read in context, we realize that Paul was writing these words after great suffering. He tells Timothy that he has known suffering, and he assures Timothy that he will suffer too. Oh what encouraging words, right? But he doesn’t leave it there. He assures Timothy he should continue in what he has learned and hold firmly to that belief because of the inspired Word of God in scripture.
I’ve been fortunate in life thus far, and I haven’t ever suffered persecution in the manner that Paul did. But my study question this morning was to identify a time when I found strength in scripture during suffering. I can give numerous examples because the Word of God is encouraging at all times. I’d like to share a specific example that always comes to mind.
My mother left this earthly home unexpectedly at the young age of 59. I was 37 at the time. I was a grown woman, married, had a flourishing career, a nice home, and in all aspects appeared to have it all together. But the night my mama died, my whole world felt apart. I can’t explain it in words, but for the first time in my life, I felt that I was surrounded by total darkness. People around my carried on like life had not stopped. Friends were encouraging. People smiled and laughed, and life as they knew it went on.
I can’t remember how it started, but one of my sisters and I began sending each other text message scriptures each day. Well, I soon found out that if I was going to send an encouraging scripture, I had to get into scripture. I quickly found myself digging deep in the Bible, reading the promises of God, seeing His faithfulness, His grace, and His mercy. I thought that my scripture searches were helping my sister, but it turns out that God knew that it was exactly what this girl needed.
God took away that darkness that was engulfing me, and the Light returned. Do I miss my mama? Of course, I do. Everyday! But am I sad that she is in heaven. No way! I know because of the promises of my Savior that she is in her heavenly home, and that gives me extreme happiness.
I am so very thankful for the Bible. I am grateful that my heavenly Daddy loves me so much that He made sure His words would survive, persevere, and flourish over all of these years so that this old gal could still find refuge in His Words. No matter what kind of suffering we may face in life, we can rest assured without a shadow of a doubt, that our loving Father is in control! Thank you God for your Word!