Paul was nearing the end. He was imprisoned. He was kept away from the mission to which he had devoted his life. And he missed his dear friend Timothy.
But Paul was confident. “But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.”
“That day.” This has a specific meaning. This means the day of Christ’s return. See also 2 Timothy 4:6-8.
Paul knew his ministry of the gospel would not come to an end. The Word would continue to spread. There was no doubt about that.
We see the hand of God moving here – giving Paul confidence. We also ought to see the trust that Paul put in Timothy. “By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.”
I am certain Paul could rest easy knowing God was in control. I am also certain Paul was completely satisfied Timothy still was out in the world, preaching the message of Jesus Christ – the story of salvation.
There are some people in our lives on whom we can count. There are some whom we know believe the same things we do and have the same convictions we have. And there are some whom we know can do things we can’t. And we simply must be grateful for them.
There are some points in life where we reach the limits of what we physically are able to do. In my ministry, I’ve encountered numerous older saints who have been physically limited. They no longer had the energy to do what they once were able to do. It can be frustrating.
But a number of those elders of the church – my elders! – have turned their attention to prayer and encouragement. I don’t know how many times I’ve had kind words given to me by folks who already have run the vast majority of their races. They were nearing “that day.” And they were content.
May we all be that way.