2 Timothy 2:3 - “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”

We look around the world today dismayed at the war we see. No wars recently seem righteous but brutal, savage, gross, unnecessary, wasteful, cruel, hateful, evil.

And here comes Paul with another conflict in mind:

1 Timothy 1:18–19 - “…wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience.”

Jesus was embroiled in spiritual battle constantly and said:

Matthew 11:12 - “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.”

Battle. War. Violent men who hate and suppress the truth treating John the Baptist, Jesus, and those who follow him with murderous contempt. They stifle the truth in any way they can. They aim to silence through embarrassment, deprivation, threat, and assault.

They win when we let go of the faith, counting things of this world, including our own earthly reputation measured by earthly scales, as more important than The Way. We too often exchange Jesus’ Royal Road for potholed rat paths.

Paul tells Timothy, “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ.”

Be engaged in the battle. Don’t flee. Know what you believe and who you believe in. See the pattern of warfare. Don’t be surprised at what happens to you, Jesus said:

Matthew 5:11 - “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.”

When people are out for war against you and persecute you, blessed are you. You’re in the fight! Near the frontlines. A brother in arms with Jesus.

May our God let us see the war that’s happening. And may he give us courage to “wage the good warfare” through humility and gentleness, not with weapons of destruction, pride, anger, and hatred:

2 Timothy 1:7 - “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

Proverbs 24:11 - “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 - “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Matthew 28:20 (KJV 1900) - “and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

Come, Holy Spirit!