Life is full of ups and downs – wouldn’t you agree? One minute you could be on cloud nine with excitement about some good news you have received…and then next you come crashing down to earth when something drastic happens. It’s not that easy to stay steady when things don’t go quite the way you planned, is it?
2 Timothy 4:5
As for you, be calm and cool and steady, accept and suffer unflinchingly every hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fully perform all the duties of your ministry.
When Paul writes to Timothy he gives him four directives that he should live by.
My mum use to tell me this whenever I came to a situation that was beyond my control: “remember the three c’s – cool…calm…and collected”. It use to get on my nerves a little if she said it too much, but deep down I knew she was right.
Timothy’s first directive was to remain steady in what he was doing. He had to remain the three c’s – cool…calm…and collected. He needed to take seriously what he was doing in his life and remain focussed.
Be accepting of suffering
Accept suffering? Seriously? Now this is deep, but then Paul would know what he’s writing about after all the suffering he had endured. To name a few…
•He was in prison (and more than once);
•He constantly faced death;
•He was shipwrecked;
•He received whipping, flogging and was stoned…
…Shall I carry on?
Endurance is the ability to keep doing something difficult, unpleasant or painful for a long time. Like Paul, Timothy was instructed to keep steady whilst enduring his suffering…and he had to maintain the right perspective that would honour Christ.
Enduring our suffering and keeping the right mind throughout helps us to build on our character. This then in turn creates hope.
Carey Scott on her latest blog post “How to hold on to joy… no matter what’s trying to beat you down” reminds us how we can be steady and gain that hope…
“Friends, praise will always usher in joy when we’re struggling to find it. It’s a negativity-buster and gratitude-generator at the same time. And it will keep us tethered to hope… no matter what comes our way.”
Be an evangelist
It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do and where you are…spread the good news of Christ. It might not be your forte to communicate with other people the gospel, but we are commanded to do so.
Anyway, if Jesus can use a tax collector, some fisherman and, wait for it, even a political activist…then guess what, He will use you! What you do does not stop you from spreading the good news of Jesus.
Be the winner…
…and finish the race. Keep on going, not just endure, but to actually finish what has been started.
It’s been heard often that when runners compete in a marathon, it’s the last couple of hundred yards that seem the hardest. Just as you see the finish line in sight, everything seems heavier.
When things seem heavier, there is always a temptation to quit, especially when it comes to doing what God calls you to do. Each new day provides us with new challenges to complete the race.
How do we overcome this? By keeping our eyes fixed on the prize…Jesus Christ. As we run the race of life and we keep focused on Him we find that He is actually running the race with us and helping us along the way.
Something to think about…
Is there an area in your life where you are struggling to see the finish line and it’s hard to carry on with the race? Don’t give up. Just like runners who need to train constantly to keep on going when it gets tough, so do we.
When you feel off balance, keep steady by using Jesus as your weight to lean on. You will never be too heavy for Him as He can handle any weight you pile on. So, keep on keeping on and don’t give up!
Lord, I know that I am going to go through life at times and feel like the race is too hard to run. Help me to be steady on my tracks and to keep focused on you so that I can endure whatever I run through. Amen.
You are reading a Five Minute Friday word prompt. This is hosted by Kate Motaung and is where a group of people write about a given word for that week. The word prompt write is “steady”. (Everything before the line break shows what I wrote in five minutes.) If you are interested in taking part or reading other people’s inspiring writes, then hop on over to the site.