2Timothy 3:10-17, “10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me”
Under endurance, I group “faith, longsuffering (patience), love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions” together because they bond or are under the umbrella on this word endurance . What is endurance?- the capacity of something to last or withstand wear and tear, 2Timothy 2:3, Matthew 24:13, Jude 1:24 (PRESERVATION), Luke 22:31-32 (Jesus prayed that Peter’s faith would endure through preservation), 1Corinthians 13:4-7 (love chapter).
When Paul talks to Timothy about his “faith”, he is talking more than belief. He is referring to the evidence of faith, enduring faith. He knows he is justified by faith apart from works, the evidence of that faith is the presence of works. He is echoing James message, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also”, James 2:26.
We have an example of faith evidenced by works to the immediate family, 1Timothy 5:8, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever“. The support of relatives and servants is referred to here. We grew up being instructed that children and grandchildren must support their aged parents and Paul lays it out here. Anyone who does not provide for his own family, whether it be a wife and children, or aged parents, has practically denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever, for even unbelievers do these things. If a man is a hard worker but spends what he has labored for his own lusts, that which should maintain their families, he has denied the faith “…and is worse than infidels”.
Faith without love and its works is dead; “for the subject matter of faith is not mere opinion, but the grace and truth of God, to which he that believes gives up his spirit, as he that loves gives up his heart“, Mack. “Faith does not set aside natural duties, but strengthens them”, Bengel. Galatians 6:9-10 extends that faith to believers,” 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith”. Biblical manhood calls for practical faith.
Paul was not ashamed to highlight his “longsuffering…persecutions, afflictions”. His adversities worked to his advantage and more so in advancing the cause of his purpose. Longsuffering would go hand in hand with patience. To us it is strange but not to Paul, he could glory in tribulation, Romans 5:3-5, “3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us”. His tribulations, longsuffering came about through open enemies and persecutors of the Gospel, and towards them that were within, the brethren, whose infirmities he bore. To the Philippians he writes, “12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear”, Philippians 1:12-14. Biblical manhood calls for endurance, a biblical perspective in relations to longsuffering. This is about profiting from trials instead of crumbling under them. James 1:2-4, “2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” Loving God under trials is reflected on how you and I respond to those trials. James calls a person tried blessed, James 1:12, “12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him”.
Biblical manhood calls for faithfulness in good times when all needs are met and in bad times when longsuffering is present. This underscores the importance of trusting God’s purposes in the midst of suffering, even when we don’t know what those purposes are. In the end, we learn the lesson that we may never know the specific reason for our suffering, but we must trust in our sovereign God. That is the real answer to suffering. To continue Blessings Ev