Summary: Paul in his message to Timothy shows us how he responds to adversity.
How Do I Respond to Adversity?
We may not be able to control much of the adversities that we encounter in life, but we may be able to control our response by putting into practice what Paul did. Being the pastor of this church for over 4 years now has allowed me to see people with all kinds of problems, and all kinds of responses.
I have seen people become negative, and bitter in response to adversity. I have seen people point fingers of blame after encountering trouble........but today let me tell you that I have been blessed, and inspired by so many people by observing their response to adversity.
I read recently about a former female basketball player names Kia Jurgenson she was a student at a Christian University. She was a gifted, all state high school basketball player, she loved the Lord, she received a full-ride scholarship and started as a freshmen on the University team.
During those college years, Jurgenson contacted a dangerous form of meningitis with the result being that to save her life, the Drs had to amputate both of her legs and most of her right hand. Needless to say, basketball was out.
On the outside looking in we would say that Life has been unfair and cruel to her. Nevertheless, after a lengthy and arduous rehab, she was back at school the following fall. And you can just imagine what it was like when at a chapel service, she stepped up on the stage and up to the podium (on her prosthetic limbs) and thanked all the people for their prayers and support, but most of all Jesus for his steadfast love. Amazing, isn’t it? How do we respond to adversity?
Paul in his message to Timothy shows us how he responds to adversity. In spite of being in prison, and facing death, he keeps the right kind of attitude. He does not allow himself to be angry and bitter, but uses his position, and his problems as a opportunity to encourage Timothy. Let’s look today at Paul’s thoughts during adversity, and see how we can apply them and use them in our lives.
Read Scriptures: 2 Timothy 1:6-12
I. His confidence in Christ is not Shaken By His Suffering !
Vs. 11 “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”
When adversity comes our way one of the first things we do is question things in our lives. We begin to doubt, and wonder if what we are doing in our lives is of God. Many believe this false teaching that if I am a Christian then I am not supposed face any hard times, I am not supposed to face trials.
Even in the face of trials and adversity Paul knew his calling was from God, and he didn’t allow the present suffering stop him from doing what he knew God called him to do with his life.
Many times when adversity comes into our lives, we become uncertain, and ineffective for the Kingdom of God.
We need to fully get this picture in our minds, Paul is presently in chains. He is in prison because of his calling, and his obedience to preach the gospel. Yet in spite of his present condition, he will not be discouraged nor detoured from what God has ordained, and instructed him to do.
When adversity comes, when things are going sour, do we still have confidence in Christ? It is important that we remain committed as believers to witnessing in times of adversity. That may be time when unbelievers are watching us the most to see if we are genuine in what we believe or if we are just fair weather Christians.
II. He Is Confident In His Salvation !
Vs 12 “I know whom I have believed.....”
Adversity may bring some times of uncertainty into our lives. Losing a love one is difficult. Losing our health can be devasting. Losing a job is not a pleasant experience.
Yet in spite our times of adversity, and uncertainty. If we are saved, we can be confident in our salvation. The reason Paul was able to respond correctly to suffering was because he knew in whom he had believed. He was confident that the One who had saved him on the road to Damascus was with him, and would supply his need in prison.
I love the song “My God Is Real”
There are some things I may not know, there are some places I can’t go.