We are in the midst of the football season and there are a lot of big games that will be played in the next few weeks. During every game those who are watching them will have the privilege of seeing the big play again through instant replay. On the professional level, when a difficult call has to be made, the officials will often review a play before the official call goes on record.
In 2 Timothy 1:5-6, the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy when he was facing some of his biggest obstacles in ministry. Nero, the Roman emperor, was persecuting Christians and many of them were dying for their faith. In the midst of all of that trouble, I am sure that Timothy feared for his life and the future of his church. On the basis of what Paul said to him, he had to be wondering if God was going to keep him in the middle of all that was going on around him
So in verse 5, he says to Timothy, “when I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also”, he wanted to remind Timothy about some very important things connected to his heritage. It was like he called a time out for Timothy to get it together. Sometimes we just feel like we need to quit and give up without even trying to win the game. What usually happens during a football game when a team is faced with special challenges or circumstances that the opponent has presented? The coach will call a time out. The water boy comes running out and brings the players much needed hydration while the coach reminds the team of the strategy.
I am sure that you have had situations in your life when it looked completely hopeless, and the power of God quickly stepped in and miraculously turned your situation around. We often fail to remember God’s faithfulness in the past when we are confronted with new challenges in the present. Our faith gets weak because of the problems we are facing right now and we forget that we have gone through circumstances that were similar, or even worse, before. The vastness of the problems in front of us looks so great that we fail to remember all of the other situations we have already come through with the help of God. So in 2 Timothy 1:5, when Paul states “when I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee,” he knew that Timothy needed to be reminded of something that was very important: God’s faithfulness.
Paul took the opportunity to remind him that God brought his grandmother and mother through great difficulties in their lives. Just as God never failed them, he would never fail Timothy in this hour of trial. Then he told him in verse 6, “I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God that is in thee by the putting on of my hands”. The phrase, “I put thee in remembrance” means to regather or to recollect memories. In the Greek, the prefix to this phrase carries the idea of playing these memories over and over again in your mind.
I remember years ago, as a young preacher starting out. In our day we did not have DVDs or CDs. We had cassettes and I would listen to the Word of God. When something really caught my attention I would rewind it and play it over again, rewind it and play it over again and rewind it and play it over again. I kept hitting rewind and backing it up to make sure it stuck. So, the way that I would hit the rewind button on my cassette player is like looking back at a part of life over and over again. I am talking about the times when God delivered you.
The next time the enemy says to you there is no way you will come out of this...What you are facing is going to end the game...call a time out and get alone with God and review what God has already done for you. That’s right, watch the instant replay in your mind of everything that He has already delivered you from. Your faith will rise to a new level of confidence as you replay those memories over and over again in your thoughts. God will bring you to a place where you will be able to face your problem and declare that no weapon formed against me shall prosper. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind” 2 Tim 1:7. You don’t have to fear your problems, face them.
Pastor Earl Goings shares his thoughts on everyday concerns.
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