That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. – 2 Timothy 1:12 NIV
Paul suffered tremendously because of his faith; because of his commitment to Christ’s calling in his life. He suffered both physical and verbal abuse at the hands of both Jews and Gentiles. Everywhere he went he faced danger and distress. And yet he was not ashamed. Paul knew who he had entrusted his life to. And he was convinced that Christ would protect him and bring him safely through to the other side.
What was it that Paul had entrusted to Christ? He had entrusted him with his future. He was confident that when the tent of his earthly existence was destroyed, that he would have a more permanent and glorious dwelling, one fit for heaven (1 Cor. 5:1-5). Knowing that this life is temporary, and that what is to come is immeasurably better, puts the struggles of this life in a whole different light. I will only endure here for a short while. And then an eternity in God’s presence.
But Paul had entrusted more than just his future into God’s hands. He had entrusted his very self to him. No matter what man might do to him, Paul was convinced that God would protect him. No matter what the evil one might do, Paul was safely in God’s hands. All of the abuse Paul experienced only touched him on the surface. Paul was much more than the body that he lived in. His enemies might be able to destroy his body. But they would be unable to touch his soul. Paul was convinced that nothing would be able to separate him from the love of God (Rom. 8:35-39).
What a difference it would make in my own life if I truly had that conviction that Paul did. Knowing that my future is secure in Christ, and that God is guarding my soul. It would free me from any worldly concerns. And it would focus me more sharply on the task God has given me to do. Imagine what the world would be like if all of us who claimed the name of Christ lived like that. Trust Him with your life.