remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. but the word of God is not bound! therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. [2 tim 2:8-10]
the hebrew word for remembering is used more than 200 times in the old testament and in the new testament the greek word is used over 20 times. paul says to remember Jesus Christ, who is the only one who is truly worth the suffering that we will endure. paul is suffering for ‘his’ gospel. the gospel is dearly personal to him, something that he remembers over and over. Jesus fully God and fully man, lived the perfect life paul couldn’t, took the death paul deserved, and finally rose from the grave to prove he had defeated death for paul. this is what paul urges timothy to remember and this is what paul himself remembers in his suffering. remember Jesus Christ in your suffering. i now urge you to this brother and sister. it is not pointless. your suffering is not malicious. it can and will be used for the glory of our Savior. so please, learn what your gospel is. learn what Jesus did for you and remember your gospel that Jesus gave to you.
why do you need to remember? yes so you can endure, but not so you can endure and find comfort in yourself, but so you can endure and others can see the comfort of God in your life. paul lived, knew, and acted as if his actions led others to Christ. salvation is obtainable for so many, yet they have been hurt by ‘the church’ or have been scorned by ‘christians.’ you cannot stop the elect from being chosen or finding God, but you can however hinder their discovery of who he is in how you respond to suffering. affliction is not something to flee from, rather it is something to embrace because in great affliction comes great testimony. believer are you afflicted? are you enduring for others’ sake?
~ holly russell