Read 2 Timothy 1:1-7.
The apostle Paul was languishing in a Roman prison when he wrote to Timothy, his spiritual son. He knew he might soon be executed for his faith in Jesus Christ, and so he decided to leave this letter, known today as 2 Timothy, as his legacy for future generations of church leaders.
He wrote so that each of us might know joy in the midst of despair.
Paul wanted Timothy, and anyone else feeling defeated, to experience victory and triumph. He wrote so that each of us might know joy in the midst of despair and be encouraged with Truth. Paul's message was simple: Don't give up. And in these first few verses, he gives Timothy three reasons to keep going, to keep contending for the Truth.
First, he tells Timothy that he is praying for him—not just every once in a while, when Timothy crosses his mind, nor just before bed as he checks items off his prayer list. No! Paul tells him, "[N]ight and day, I constantly remember you in my prayers" (2 Timothy 1:3, emphasis added). What an encouragement! What a shot in the arm it must have been for Timothy to know that the great apostle Paul was praying for him night and day, bringing him before the throne of God again and again.
Second, Paul reviews Timothy's godly heritage: "I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also" (v. 5). Parents, know that the seeds of faith and wisdom you're sowing in the lives of your children will bear much fruit. You may not see the fruit right away, but it will come.
Get out the family album, get out the Word of God, and start remembering God's past blessings on you and your family. Start remembering His past protection. Remember how He rescued you personally. Today, that same God wants to bless, encourage, and use you and your family once again.
Finally, Paul reminds Timothy that the Holy Spirit working within him knows nothing of timidity or fear. Instead, He gives God's people "power, love and self-discipline" (v. 7), which are yours in Christ, no matter what you may be facing. God is on your side, and nothing is impossible for Him.
Don't give up. Lean on the Word of God. The Holy Spirit has given us everything we need to be faithful soldiers for Jesus Christ here and now.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your past faithfulness that gives me confidence for the trials I am facing now. I know You are with me and will not forsake me. May my faith grow more and more as I lean on You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline" (2 Timothy 1:7).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon Don't Ever Give Up, Part 1: LISTEN NOW