Over the last year, we spent many quiet mornings sitting next to a giant. He wasn’t 10 feet tall in stature, but he was big in heart. My Cuban Abuelo was married for 70 years to the same woman, worked hard, and loved well. He was the patriarch and centerpiece of our clan, and his passing was an incredible loss to our family.
When you know that your time is limited, every moment with a wise man is sacred. You want to lean in and listen. Every word is important. Every conversation is meaningful.
II Timothy 4 is Paul’s swan song – his last letter written with the knowledge that his life would soon end. Paul wrote half of the New Testament under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and these are his final words to us, the body of Christ. As I read this chapter, I see Paul’s passion to communicate a clear message to us as we move forward in faith.
My sisters, life is hard. Paul understood this more than we can imagine. He faced persecution, public humiliation and accusation, beatings, and extreme opposition every day of his life all for the cause of Christ. But through every attack and hardship, one thing remained constant in Paul’s life: the power of Christ was greater than any problem he faced.
Here is what Paul wants you to know: God will give you the strength to face whatever this crazy world throws at you. You may face opposition without, but God is going to give you fortitude and fervor within. God will always show up strong for you. In your weakest moments, your Abba Father is going to provide what you need.
Paul’s passion for communicating the Good News of the gospel did not diminish. Even in prison, he continued to speak the name of Jesus and point people to the hope of salvation. This is our charge. Yes, our lives may be in turmoil, but tribulation provides a platform for us to tell others about the Savior who gives us overcoming strength. As people watch our lives, we are displaying how God is real and at work.
Yes, we have an enemy. Paul understood this well, but he understood God’s grander purpose for his life was to finish strong in faith. As he sat in prison writing this epistle, his confidence was fully placed in his Deliverer. A lion can roar, but he cannot devour your soul. You are fully protected by the God who will walk with you every step of your journey until He carries you home to heaven.
As a child, I attended a small Spanish church with my Abuelos. My giant would pick me up every Sunday, and I’d sit quietly listening to the sermon as I sat beside him. Every service ended with a doxology – a word of praise to God. We would lift high the name of God on our lips and then walk out the doors of the church with His joy in our hearts. We were commissioned to live for God’s glory in our homes, at our workplace, and in our community.
Paul’s final challenge to us with praise:
The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Paul faced opposition from a position of victory because he fully trusted in His Deliverer. My sisters, our call is to praise the One who has already delivered us and continues to protect us and provide our every need. God’s powerful presence will never leave you, and He has a grander purpose for whatever problem you may be facing today.
Like Paul, may we live our lives to the glory of God until our final breath. May our final words speak of God’s faithfulness.
Keeping the Faith,
Lyli Dunbar enjoys karaoke in the car with her husband, digging into Bible study with the girls, and reading 12 books at a time. A writer, speaker, and mentor, her burning passion is to know Jesus and to make Him known. Join her at lylidunbar.com to find fuel for a wildfire faith. You may also connect with Lyli on Facebook, Instagram,Twitter, You Tube and Pinterest.
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