Summary: Endure Hardships
2 Timothy 2:3-4 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
First, let me inform you of something you may already know. There’s a war going on, and you’ve been enlisted to serve on the front lines. This wasn’t a draft. You didn’t have to register for the Selective Service. No, this "Army" isn’t a volunteer militia. You didn’t have to - nor could you - choose to be here, but you were chosen before the foundations of the earth.
God, The Commander-in-Chief, ordered your enlistment. It wasn’t based on your prior service in the church. It wasn’t based on your abilities - or your inabilities. God didn’t assess your qualifications and/or your education and make a calculation that would influence His determination, but rather, your enlistment was Divine predestination. Paul said it best in Romans 8:30; he said, "Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified." So, you need to understand that you were predestined to be called into this "Army" of the Lord.
I don’t intend to mislead you and give you some false sense of security that would suggest your freedom of trials and tribulations; in fact, your current situation and/or circumstance may be direct result of your enlistment. So, the Lord sent me to encourage you to Hold On Good Soldier. While you’re on the battlefield, "count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing" (James 1:2-4). Consider this your Basic Training.
Speaking of Basic Training... Once you’re in Basic Training, certain expectations are required of you. The Commander-in-Chief expects you to "put off the old man with his deeds" (Colossians 3:9). You can’t act like a civilian; in fact, the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible reads, "No one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier’s aim is to please the enlisting Officer" (2 Timothy 2:4). You will have to endure hardness just because you’re in the "Army," but Hold On Good Soldier.
Here’s the latest Operations Order. Hold on and understand that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12). But, Hold On Good Soldier! The enemy may have an arsenal of weapons; he may have tried to keep you suppressed, depressed, compressed, or distressed, but be encouraged in the midst of the fight. Be encouraged and know that "no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper" (Isaiah 54:17). Praise the Lord! There will be no changes to this Order. Sound off...Sound off and shout, "Amen!"
If the enemy has had you pinned in your position...your position of troubles...your position of financial bondage...your position of agony and seemingly defeat, remember "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds" (2 Corinthians 10:4). The Anointing, the Comforter, the Commander-in-Chief out-ranks any foe you may encounter on the battlefield, and He can destroy any yoke (or bondage). I understand that "Ole Slewfoot," Christian Enemy # 1, the devil, may seem to be winning the fight right now, but Hold On Good Soldier. I have received word from Headquarters; the Commander-in-Chief is going to make your enemy your footstool. Sound off and say, "Amen!"
Furthermore, any Good Soldier knows that he doesn’t always know what to do; for this cause, God has given us a Soldier Manual... a Manual of Common Tasks... "Army" Regulations (Reg’s). In other words, God has given us the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, commonly known as the B.I.B.L.E.
When you find yourself trapped in your foxhole...trapped in guilt...trapped in complacency...trapped in trouble, read your "Manual." When you don’t know what to do or how to do it, read your "Manual." When you are trying to know what the Commander-in-Chief says about your situation or how He would handle it, just go to the corresponding "Reg" (book), chapter, paragraph, and line. I assure you that the Lord will reveal Himself and His will to you through His Word.
In your Soldier’s Manual, you will find out that "weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning" (Psalms 30:5). So, Hold On Good Soldier! You will find out that "the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong" (Ecclesiastes 9:11). So, endure hardness, and Hold On Good Soldier! If you read your "Manual," you can be like Job and say, "all the days of my appointed time [my enlisted time] will I wait, till my change come" (Job 14:14). Hold On Good Soldier, and wait till your change comes...wait till your promotion comes! As you wait, read your "Manual;" in it, you will find that if you wait on the Lord, you "shall renew (your) strength; (you) shall mount up with wings as eagles; (you) shall run, and not be weary; and (you) shall walk, and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31). So, Hold On Good Soldier! "Finally, my [fellow soldiers], be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:10-11). Yes; there will be some wiles... some tricks and schemes, but Hold On Good Soldier!