The jail cell is cold, yet his heart is on fire! Not even the death sentence of a heathen Emperor can quench the passion and joy that bubbles up within him. With swift strokes of determination, the Apostle Paul begins to pen an urgent message of “Enduring Faith,” to his spiritual son Timothy.
2nd Timothy 1:2-5 (TPT);
“My beloved son, I pray for a greater release of God’s Grace, Love, and Total Well-Being to flow into your life from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ!” “You know that I’ve been called to serve the God of my fathers with a clean conscience. Night and day, I pray, constantly for you, building a memorial for you with my prayers.” “ I know that you have wept for me, your spiritual father, and your tears are dear to me. I can’t wait to see you again! I’m filled with joy” as I think of your strong faith that was passed down through your family line. It began with your grandmother Lois, who passed it on to your dear mother, Eunice. And it’s clear that you too are following in the footsteps of their Godly example.”
The “Enduring Faith” of Timothy’s grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice created a “Heritage of Faith.” One that fills the Apostle Paul “with joy!” Because of this joy-filled faith and the urgency of the hour, the Apostle Paul continually contends in prayer for his spiritual son Timothy.
What is “Enduring Faith?”
MERRIAM WEBSTER DICTIONARY:
ENDURE = To remain firm under suffering without yielding.
FAITH = belief and trust in and loyalty to God.
Firm belief in something for which there is no proof.
This is how I define “Enduring Faith:”
ENDURING FAITH = To remain firm in our belief and trust in God when there is no proof that a need or difficult situation has changed or will change.
The Word of God provides for us a clear picture of “Enduring Faith” in Hebrews 11:1 (AMPC);
“Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].”
As the Apostle Paul fervently prayed for Timothy, he “built a memorial for him.” A spiritual monument of intercession that covered Timothy to preserve. “The Enduring Faith” that was passed on to him. A faith that the Apostle Paul discerns has come under attack in Timothy’s life and ministry.
2nd Timothy 1:6-7 (AMPC);
“That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you by means of the laying on of my hands [with those of the elders at your ordination].” “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and love and calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”
Never forget this important spiritual truth, my friend:
FEAR FIGHTS AGAINST THE FIRE OF GOD IN OUR LIVES!
If we allow the spirit of fear to dominate us, the desire and the “Fire” to passionately live our life calling will be quenched. The Apostle Paul knew that Timothy was dangerously close to losing “his fire” in carrying on The Gospel of Jesus Christ. He knew that discouragement and “fear of men” had set in because of Paul’s imprisonment and death sentence. The “Enduring Faith” that was passed down, to Timothy was being shaken to the core. Like Timothy, we too must guard “the inner fire,” “the gracious gift of God” that resides within us. There is a race that God has called each of us to run, and it will take “Enduring Faith” to run and finish it well.
Hebrews 10:35-39 (TPT);
“So don’t lose your bold, courageous faith, for you are destined, for a great reward!” “You need the strength of endurance to reveal the poetry of God’s will, and then, you receive the promise in full.” “For soon and very soon, “The One Who is appearing will come without delay!” “And He also says, “My righteous ones will live from My Faith. But if fear holds them back, My Soul is not content with them!” “But we are certainly not those who are held back, by fear and perish; we are among those who have faith and experience true life.
When “Enduring Faith” is alive in our lives, we will “experience true life!” With “Eyes of Faith,” we can recognize and utilize the power of God that resides within us through salvation. This Holy Power, given to us by The Grace of God, equips us to walk in love with a calm and well-balanced mind. These attributes of “Enduring Faith” working together develop our discipline and self-control in God. As our self-control grows in God, the fruit of our life matures into a “bold, courageous faith that receives a great reward!” Glory To God! This is why it was so important for the Apostle Paul to encourage Timothy in his faith. I am grateful that his writing still encourages us in our faith today!
2nd Timothy 3:14 (TPT);
“Yet you must continue to advance in strength with the truth wrapped around your heart, being assured by God that He’s The One Who has truly taught you all these things.”
The “Enduring Faith” of Timothy became The “Endearing Faith” of God, which filled The Apostle Paul with joy. This my friend, is the same “Enduring Faith” that “Endears” us to The Heart of Father God as we rest In Him.
Hebrews 4:10-11 (TPT);
As we enter into God’s faith-rest life, we cease from our works, just as God Celebrates His Finished Works and Rests in them.” “So then we must give our all and be eager to experience this faith-rest life so that no one falls short by following the same pattern of doubt and unbelief.”
“The Great Hall of Faith”, listed in Hebrews chapter 11, is an eternally documented memorial of “Enduring Faith”. This chapter is filled, with mighty men and women of God who learned by experience how to “enter into God’s faith-rest life.” These ancestors of our faith, which includes Paul and Timothy, did not allow doubt and unbelief to “quench the fire of God within them.” Their love and passion for God enabled them to endure persecutions, trials, and tribulations without wavering. Their stalwart faith endeared them to the Heart of God!
Hebrews 11:39-40 (TPT);
“These were the true heroes, commended for their faith, yet they lived in hope without receiving the fullness of what was promised them.” “But now God has invited us to live in something better than what they had—faith’s fullness! This is so that they could be brought to finished perfection alongside us.”
By the end of his life, the Apostle Paul shares with Timothy a beautiful snapshot of “Enduring Faith.” One that is meant to encourage us today.
2nd Timothy 4:6-8 (TPT);
“And now the time is fast approaching for my release from this life. And I am ready to be offered as a sacrifice.” “I have fought an excellent fight. I have finished my full course. I’ve kept my heart full of faith.” “There’s a crown of righteousness waiting in Heaven for me, and I know that my Lord will reward me on his day of righteous judgment. And this crown is not only waiting for me, but for all who love and long for His Unveiling.”
We must “love and long for His Unveiling,” my friend!
Why? So that we can:
Be Strong and Live Free with Enduring Faith…………. Boldly For Him!
Hebrews 11:6 (TPT);
“And without faith living within us, it would be impossible to please God. For we come to God in faith knowing this He is real and that He rewards the faith of those who passionately seek Him.”
© 2021 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”
Photo: Esther Wechsler