2 Timothy 2:3 – “Join with me in suffering as a good soldier of Christ.”
Like a soldier willingly defending his nation at the cost of his life, Paul the apostle offered himself to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ. He did not allow adverse circumstances to deter him.
The sufferings that Paul faced were (2 Corinthians 11:23-30):
- He was beaten by the Jews five times with 39 lashes each.
- He was imprisoned and flogged many times.
- He was beaten three times with rods.
- He was stoned and left to die.
- He was shipwrecked three times.
- He was in the open sea for a night and a day.
- He had to constantly move and had been in danger from rivers, bandits, his fellow Jews, Gentiles; in the city, in the country, at sea, and from false believers.
- He had labored and toiled and had often gone without sleep; had known hunger and thirst and had often gone without food; and had been cold and naked.
- He had to face the pressure daily and yet have concern for all the churches.
In spite of all the sufferings that Paul faced, he still considered himself to be a servant of Christ.
Paul continued to preach the gospel in spite of facing hostility from fellow Jews (Acts 21:27). In his journey as an apostle of Christ, Paul was abandoned by people (2 Timothy 4:16). Paul never regarded his life dear unto himself (Acts 20:24). His attitude was to deny himself and take up the cross of suffering and follow Christ.
Are you willing to be a true soldier for Christ? For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for Christ and for the gospel will save it (Mark 8:35). There is a fight waiting for a believer. Can we say like apostle Paul, “I have fought the good fight” (2 Tim. 4:7)?