Paul wrote this letter not long before he was put to death by Nero. It’s that fact that makes his first words to Timothy more than a little meaningful.
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, for the sake of the promise of life in Christ Jesus. (1)
The promise of life in Christ Jesus.
So often when we go through trials and struggles in life, we focus on those trials and struggles instead of what we have in Jesus.
And we all have so much in Jesus.
Paul tells us three of those things we have in verse 2: grace, mercy, and peace.
Paul expands on what he means in verses 9-10: The Father saved us and called us to be his own, not because we are somehow more innately special or different than anyone else, but because of his own purposes and grace. Through Jesus’ work on the cross and the blood he shed there, we now have peace with God. And in him, God has now abolished death and given us life and immortality.
None of us know why God would choose us. I certainly don’t.
But there are two things we do know with certainty:
- We didn’t deserve to be chosen.
- God’s choice is not arbitrary.
It’s not as though God callously says, “I chose this one, but I don’t choose that one.”
Rather, according to purposes too mysterious and deep for any of us to fathom, he looked upon us in love, and said, “I choose you.”
So whatever you’re facing this day, whatever struggles, whatever tears, whatever worries, remember what you have in Jesus.
And be strong, not in yourself, but in the grace you have already received. (2:1)