“[God,] who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,”  [2 timothy 1:9]

not because of our works … do you hear the freedom in that? do you hear the hope in that? your hope and salvation don’t rest on your works. they don’t depend on your performance. they rest completely on the solid rock which is Christ Jesus himself.

this. this right here is the unchanging, unshakeable foundation that our hope is built on. our salvation, our calling is built on the solid rock of God’s own purpose and grace which remains unchanged since before the beginning of the world.

as paul penned this letter to his beloved disciple and son in the faith, his world was upside down. he sat in a dark, cold prison cell, after offending the world’s most powerful government, awaiting his own death. he was alone, with no one, no friends, no community and no church family. he writes to his dear friend and encourages him and reminds him of the reason why, the reason why everything is worth it, the trials, the struggles, the suffering, everything.

here, as paul lifts his eyes to behold the beauty of the gospel, we see the reason why: the one true, solid rock that we can rest on. the reason why we have hope no matter what goes on around us, the reason why the trials, the struggles, the suffering, all of it is worth it.

it’s because of the God we serve, who before time, saved us and called each of us his own, not because of anything you or i have done, can do or will do, but because of his own grace, mercy and love.

rest in that truth.

just as paul wrote in verse 8, shame has no place to hide here, not in the light of the gospel. the God of the universe who knows you better than you know yourself, has called you his own.

listen and hear the voice of your heavenly father as he calls you to stop. stop striving, stop trying to earn that which has already been given to you. stop, rest and be free in the mercy grace and love of your heavenly father.

rest in that today.

“for by grace you have been saved through faith… [this] is the gift of God” [ephesians 2:8]