Read 2 Timothy 2:11-13.
As we face growing challenges both personally and globally, we mustn't let our hearts melt within us. Instead, we must stand firm and stand together as believers. We need to understand that, no matter how terrible these times may appear, God is sovereign and faithful and loves to fight for His people. Armed with this encouragement, we can be courageous knowing that our Lord will strengthen us to stand (see Romans 14:4).
If we die to self by the power of God's Spirit, we will live with Jesus in glory.
Timothy, the young pastor in Ephesus, knew what it was to be discouraged—he was struggling with timidity and fear in leading his flock. He was looking to himself for strength instead of to his Lord. So Paul wrote to him from a Roman prison to encourage him with the Gospel Truth—a call to remember Christ with what historians believe was a hymn of the early church: "If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him" (2 Timothy 2:11-12). Paul pointed Timothy to the reward awaiting him if he would but stand firm in the faith: the reward of Christ Himself. For, if we die to self by the power of God's Spirit, we will live with Jesus in glory. If we persevere and do not give up the fight of faith, we will be honored by God Himself.
Right now, the devil may be tempting you to throw in the towel, to give up, to surrender. It would be so easy to give in to discouragement and say, "Lord, don't ask me to be a witness for You. Don't ask me to share You with my neighbors and coworkers. I'm just going to mind my own business and leave well alone." That's Satan talking. He wants you to be overwhelmed and discouraged. Don't listen to him! Instead, listen to the Spirit of God.
Read God's Word and be encouraged. Remember how God has blessed you in the past. Remember how He has protected you, watched over you, and rescued you. Paul's words to Timothy are a promise for you, too. God is with you, and your future is more secure and glorious than anything you can imagine!
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for Scripture that encourages me—for the story of Your work in and through Your people, the story of Your faithfulness. Help me to press on in my walk of faith and grow in Christlikeness, that more might see the power of the Gospel at work in my life and turn to You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; . . ." (2 Timothy 2:11).