A View of Life Through the Bars
Today I started 2 Timothy, probably the apostle Paul’s last letter that we have preserved under the inspiration of God. This letter was written to a disciple of Paul named Timothy. Paul wrote this letter from jail…while he was anticipating his death. The location and circumstances of Paul’s letter makes the content of the letter even more amazing. One couldn’t expect a letter of encouragement from someone in prison, but that is what 2 Timothy is about, encouragement and exhortation. One of the most powerful passages in this first chapter is found in verse 12. Here it is: “For this reason I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” Paul’s “reason” for suffering is because he is a teacher, preacher and apostle. Paul is not suffering for something bad or wrong that he did. But Paul is not blaming God, rather he is praising God…he is expressing confidence in the God who has allowed him to be put in prison.
Paul’s view of life from through the bars is not a view of woe or “why me?” Paul’s view of life is one of thankfulness and fearlessness. He is not ashamed of the God who he serves. Instead, He is confident that God will keep him until the day that Jesus returns. He is confident of this despite the fact that he is in prison. How can you trust a God who allows you to be placed in prison? You trust God because you know that this life is not the most important life that you have. In Christ you are citizens of a heavenly kingdom. You are a pilgrim or stranger in this land. Paul knew that though prison is where he was at then, prison was not his “home”.
How about you? Are you still confident in God and His activity in your life, even if that “activity” is not what you would have signed up for? Paul’s prison perspective is so important for us to have and it is available to us. It’s not about changing your attitude but it is about trusting your God.