When The Going Gets Tough…, Part 5of5, Evans Olang

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2Timothy 2:1-13, vs. “2 ..You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ

We have looked at a journey of a Christian life’s as SOLDIER and as an ATHLETE, to reflect, they all have hardships tied to their journey. To finish, let’s look at the journey of a Christian as a FARMER.

We are told in vs. 6. “The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops”, farming is hard work but a farmer sows in faith expecting returns. No farmer I know off sows for fun. While waiting, a farmer may have to deal with weeds, insects, floods, animals, thieves, etc., Jesus gave a parable, in Matthew 13:24-28, “24…The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this”. While this is in reference to true and false converts, there is a principal application we can tap into. Trouble came when the sower (farmer) fell asleep. He did the right thing, sowed good seeds, but when he stopped guarding, the enemy took advantage.

Sowing is just the beginning. He may face such tremendous challenges with his crops before he reaps. A good farmer will not sow and then fall asleep, he will be diligent to guard and fight all the enemies to his crops until he harvests. While a good farmer may deal with weeds, insects, floods, animals, thieves threatening his crops, he will not quit when the going gets tough because his life, survival depends on his labor. Psalm 126:5, “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy”

We must first labor as the husbandman does, with diligence and patience, always watching, before we are partakers of the fruit; we must do the will of God, before we receive the promises, for which reason we have need of patience. Patience has the capacity to create setbacks. Think of Joseph who sowed good seeds of his dream only to have major setbacks for years. They threatened his life, his dreams, his destiny yet he labored with diligence, guarding, working hard, enduring through with little or no encouragement from people but only knowing God’s hand was upon his life. He sowed in tears and reaped in joy. In the end of it, everything that appeared to be working against him was actually working for him. Here is what he says in Genesis 45:4-8, “4…“I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. … 7 And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8 So now it was not you who sent me here, but God;”. Those who labor for the Lord are blessed and rewarded here and hereafter. Romans 8:28, ”And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”.

Paul admonishes Timothy to endure as a soldier, race as an athlete and work hard as a farmer while facing challenges of life. Listen to Paul’s conclusion having taken to heart what he shared with Timothy, 2Timothy 4:5&7, “4 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, … 7, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” To break it down, “I Paul have fought a good fight as a SOLDIER, I have finished the race as an ATHLETE, I have kept the faith as a FARMER”. Who better give us a testimony but one who has gone through it and tells us to be ready for we may face challenges in the days to come. Paul counted the cost and so should we. James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him”(NIV). Blessings Ev

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