"I Have Kept the Faith"
How you choose to view a sunrise might be an indicator of how much you think like the Apostle Paul.
Each day brings roles and responsibilities. Maybe you are caring for a needy parent. You might have a challenging child who tests your patience. You might be stretched thin with your time, talents, and attention, trying to take care of others and still keep your head above water. It might be a job outside the home. It might be your job inside the home.
You might be able to gain inspiration from Paul, who late in his life found himself in a cold, dark prison cell, reflecting on what he had done with his time and how he had responded to his responsibilities on the earth.
Paul’s life was remarkable. Although he had initially persecuted the early Saints, he experienced a life-changing vision. He committed to preaching the gospel to as many as would listen. He vowed to travel far and wide to spread the good news. And he did.
He preached in Arabia and then Damascus. He taught in Jerusalem and Tarsus. Antioch, Macedonia, Crete, Cilicia, Syria, and perhaps Spain were all destinations for Paul in his countless missions. He was tireless in proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.
He had endured shipwrecks and prison. And every time, he would gain strength, rise up, and continue on.
But now late in his life, as depicted in this most recent Bible Video, he was in jail. He had been imprisoned in Rome for what would be his last chapter. And true to his dedication, he took the opportunity to write words of encouragement to his younger friend and companion, Timothy.
“Preach the word,” he wrote to him, as we read in the fourth chapter of 2 Timothy. “Exhort with all longsuffering.” If anyone knew of longsuffering, it would be Paul, the tireless teacher. “Endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist” (verses 2, 5). You can almost hear the pleading in his words.
Paul had in his sights the reward that we sometimes overlook. We forget the impact we will make in others’ lives, and we overlook what is in store for us. “There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness,” Paul testifies. It will be bestowed not only on him but on all those who “love [God’s] appearing” (verse 8).