A friend asked me the other day if I had a favorite Bible verse and if so, which one. I really don’t have a favorite passage. However, several verses guided me through periods of my life. As I think about it, I am reminded of the importance of these verses.
2 Timothy 4: 7-8:
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
And then we find verses 5 and 6:
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
I first saw the meaning in this passage during my brother’s funeral. During hardships, I have often come back to it. This verse challenges us to endure hardship with grace. It also reminds us to set a Christian example regardless of the magnitude of the hardship. Furthermore, our time here is short but the rewards for keeping the faith and fighting the “good fight” will be great and eternal!
I have watched great warriors with faith much stronger and deeper than mine fight through disease and pain. They never once complained, never cursed our Lord and Savior, never lost their faith. They are constant reminders that He is always with us and if put our faith in Him, we can do anything on this Earth. With Him, everything here is smaller, less difficult. This life will eventually end. Then we’ll be with him for eternity. Glorifying him during this life will have eternal rewards.
1 Peter 2:17-25
…Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward…For what what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God…
This passage reminds me of God’s command to work diligently no matter the circumstances. We don’t always get to choose the circumstances we face. We may work for or/with that share our values and faith. Or, we will be working for those that do not. However, we are still commanded to submit ourselves to our masters and glorify God in our work.
This is also a challenge when things are difficult. It is easy to obey a master who shares our values and beliefs. The difficulty comes when our master does not share our beliefs or values. In the case of my faith, I see it as a way to minister to those that are unsaved, unchurched or who are unbelievers–a way to show them how my Jesus, my Lord would have me respond in certain situations.