Because I Know the One
By Beth Moore
We can trust God with what He has entrusted to us.
ENTRUSTED AND ENTRUSTING. Those two words sum up the daily — sometimes hourly — life of a servant of Christ like few others. The whole interchange between God and child continually comes back to the issue of trust: trusting ourselves entirely to God — our loves, lacks, longings, and our very lives — again and again. Then proving trustworthy by the power of His Spirit again and again with what He entrusts to us.
Being faithful to a trust we can’t define is woefully difficult: God has entrusted us with the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit-gifting to share it. The gospel and the gifting.
You have been appointed to eternal life. You, like those first Jesus-followers, have been appointed to go out and produce fruit. In John 15:5, Jesus specifically stated, “Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (ESV).
You are not only called to bear fruit. You are called to bear much fruit. I love the words of Jesus in John 15:8 and believe they extend with fresh life of the Spirit to every generation of Jesus-followers: “My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples.”
Those first disciples did their jobs. They cannot do ours. They produced their own fruit. They cannot produce ours. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus commanded and commissioned His first followers to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” We are among those disciples. We have been appointed by God to the globe at this juncture in history. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us” (2 Cor. 5:20).
We will also suffer at times because of our appointment.
Suffering is an inescapable part of inhaling oxygen in the atmosphere of this fallen planet. But, under this point, we’re not talking about the suffering that is common to all humans. Paul’s paradigm suggests that servants of Jesus suffer some things in direct correlation to the positions God called them to fill. A measure of your pain and hardship really is in connection to your calling. Some of it is spiritual warfare. Some of it is sociological resistance because the world hates us as it hated Christ (John 15:18-19). Some of it is ordained by God for our growth, our humility, our compassion, our obedience, our completion, our faith, and, read this carefully, our future commendation, joy, and fellowship in His glory. If we have a throw-down fit and refuse to partake in the sufferings of Christ, we will miss partaking in the explosive joy of that measure of His glory.
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory. If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. None of you, however, should suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler. But if anyone suffers as a ‘Christian,’ he should not be ashamed but should glorify God in having that name” (1 Peter 4:12-16).
When we run into great difficulty or pain in the journey of our calling, we’re prone to either cast blame or jump to the conclusion that we must have done something wrong or landed somewhere wrong in our attempt to discern God’s will. But sometimes hardship will come because you got it right. As hard as this is to grasp, sometimes suffering bubbles up from the well of God’s immeasurable affection and devotion to us. He is not unfeeling. He is all-knowing. Something down the road depends on our present stretch of pavement. This He promises us: the suffering will be brief and the fruit of it as long as eternity (2 Cor. 4:17).
Until we see Jesus face-to-face, our journeys won’t be straight lines nearly as often as they will be a series of loops rolling us forward by circling us back to faith. Entrusted and entrusting. Will we trust Him with the suffering He’s entrusted to us? Will we believe He has purpose? Do we have vision enough to believe He’s planning one of the biggest harvests of our lives through the seed of the Word we’re sowing through this hard season? Desperation can fertilize our soil and tears can water our seed like no ease could ever hope to. Are we willing to believe that right on the other side of this life is a party of epic proportions where we’ll ecstatically rejoice and share in His unfathomable inheritance?
Are you presently on a path that has circled you back to faith? What did Paul tell Timothy to do?
The HCSB translates the wording [of 2 Timothy 1:13], “Hold on to the pattern of sound teaching.” Other translations use the phrase of sound words. The lexical Greek translated sound is hugiaínõ meaning: “To be healthy, sound, physically well (Eng.: hygiene) … Metaphorically of persons, to be sound in the faith, meaning firm, pure in respect to Christian doctrine and life (Titus 1:13; 2:2). Of doctrine, meaning sound doctrine, i.e., true, pure, uncorrupted (1 Tim. 1:10; 6:3; 2 Tim. 1:13; 4:3; Titus 1:9; 2:1).”1
One Greek scholar translates the phrase, “Hold to the pattern of healthy words.”2
The adjective healthy nearly brings me to tears. God’s words have been health to me. God used His words to heal my tormented mind and to piece back together my broken heart. He still uses them every day of my life to bring health to my soul.
Does the concept of healthy words speak relevantly to you right now?
What is true individually has even greater ramifications corporately. The church cannot be healthy without holding tightly to God’s Word and to sound doctrine. Methods may change but the Bible must remain. And not just opened but pored over. Studied. The Bride of Christ will grow sick and weak without it.
Each generation is meant to train the next but not into its mirror image. Even when Paul instructed the Corinthians to imitate him, he didn’t mean they were to take on his personality. Rather, he exhorted them to model his character and godliness, as he modeled Christ. The goal is Christlikeness, not us-likeness. Spiritual daughters are not meant to look and sound just like their spiritual mothers. Neither are spiritual sons to replicate their spiritual fathers. Each generation needs time and space to grow and find its personality and place in the world. But each generation must hold onto the Scriptures for dear life or the Bride of Christ will suffer with poor circulation, heart disease, poor lung capacity, and a dull mind.
This was Paul’s unbroken concrete under his feet when life quaked: “I know the One I have believed in and am persuaded that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day” [2 Tim.1:12].
The Greek verb for am persuaded also translates “I am fully convinced.”3 Nothing will substitute for knowing the One you believe in. No one can know Him for you. And no one He knows supplants His knowing you. Faith endures the furious tests by knowing the One in whom it rests.
“Because I Know The One” by Beth Moore, excerpted from Entrusted: A Study of 2 Timothy (© 2016 Beth Moore, LifeWay Christian Resources). All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scriptures are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, copyright 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers.
Used by permission.
BETH MOORE is a Bible teacher and author of best-selling Bible studies and books for women. She is the founder of Living Proof Ministries and speaker at Living Proof Live events across the nation. Beth’s mission is to guide women everywhere into a richer, more fulfilling relationship with Jesus.
This article originally appeared in Mature Living magazine (March 2017). For more articles like this, subscribe to Mature Living.