Expecting Adversity

Journal Entry // October 6, 2022

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, (ESV)

2 Timothy 3:12

The writings of Paul are continually reminding us that the Christian life is one filled with trouble, heartache, and adversity. He has a continual theme of persecution nagging the believer as they walk through this world. The Bible continually teaches us that the world is not our true friend seeking to build us up and encourage us in the faith. It is clear in its teaching that our enemy (the world, the flesh, and the devil) are only seeking to destroy us as we are the representation of Christ on earth. And with all these warnings from God’s word we still seek to befriend the world. We still seek to be known by the world. We still seek to be approved by the world. We continually forget that all who strive to live a godly life will be at enmity with the world. The world will always hate the godly.

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Fight, Finish, Faith

Journal Entry // October 16, 2021

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

2 Timothy 4:7 ESV

I have lulled myself into a complacent mindset over the past two decades of my spiritual journey and have allowed myself to become too enamored with this world. When I think of the Christian life, I tend to picture it as a journey or a walk down a path laid before me by God himself. This path has many twists and turns to be sure and I remember that it goes through hills and valleys, but I neglect something in this picture that occurs within my mind. Paul reminds me here that this path/journey is a fight and a race. Not a leisurely stroll through this world, but one of confrontation, exertion, and strife.

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Godly Completeness

Journal Entry // October 15, 2021

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, [17] that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV

The Bible is central to living a godly righteous life in that it is profitable for maturing faith into completeness. We are all looking at the world around us and looking for greater simplicity: ten steps to joy, four keys to happiness, or three rules for peace. We all want to find a path that is simple, easy, and painless. But the way of godly righteousness, the way of the cross, is filled with teaching, reproof, correction, and training in the Bible. All of these are difficult in some way and necessary for our development. Completeness before God requires struggle.

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Civilian Pursuits

No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.

2 Timothy 2:4 ESV

How am I entangled in “civilian pursuits”? How am I spending my time, talent, and treasure in pursuit of the world and my flesh? I know that I become entangled in this far too easily and begin to give all my energy to accumulating not only the physical things this world offers but the self-centeredness of pride, arrogance, and prestige. I get entangled in civilian pursuits when I care more about what my family or friends think than what the Lord expects of me. I am entangled when I focus on pleasing anyone and everyone around me and neglect to even contemplate the necessity of pleasing Christ.

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Spirit of Power

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7 ESV

It is seemingly far too easy for me to fall back into a mindset of fear. Fear of the world and the enemy that seeks me harm. Like Peter walking on the water with Jesus, I am distracted by the wind and the waves of chaos that are swirling around me and I take my eyes off Christ. It’s fear that distracts my attention away from Jesus. It’s fear that calls out to me from the darkness. It’s fear that tempts me to wander away from the presence of Christ.

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