Many among us Christians have questioned ourselves at one point, “What am I doing here on earth? Is it all worth it?” There’s no shame in asking these questions; in fact, even Paul exhorted Timothy not to doubt his spiritual journey with Christ and to keep pressing on, knowing that in the Lord, our labor is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Paul also reminded him and, through his epistle, reminds us too that to live for Christ is to know and serve Him even when our time of departure is at hand (2 Timothy 4:6). The life we’re living for Him is always followed by blessed assurance of eternal life with our Maker.
Here on earth
To live a remarkable life on this planet isn’t the goal. As Paul encourages Timothy to carry the ministry of God and faithfully hold fast to the Good Hope, he likens his own life to a fighter, a runner, and a steward. A fighter who has prepared for and withstood the battle, a runner who has endured the race, and a steward who has kept his faith until his Master took what’s His.
We are living the life of Paul right now; and as much as what it was for him, we will also suffer hardships, persecutions, and even a spiritual battle inside us. However, God is always present to sustain us and offer us rest. He tells us to come to Him, as His laborers who are heavy-laden, because only He can give us the rest we seek and the strength we need. Matthew 11:28
What He’s asking from us is just to drop and surrender everything to Him. When Jesus calls, we need to be willing to give up all we have. Self-reliance on our human strength and tendency to lean on our own understanding will only take us far. But when we keep the faith and trust only in our Savior, He will reveal Himself to us and live in us.
The greatest thing and the only goal has always been to know and serve God for His glory alone. Hardships, trials, and even death come inevitably, so as the constant grace and strength given to us by God. We must remember that we are not in a sprint, but we’re here for the long haul. As long as we are patiently standing in the Word of God, we win.
To eternity with our Savior
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8
Paul recognized that “the day” when he takes his last breath on earth will be the day he starts the forever with God. He was fully expectant of the crown of righteousness from the Lord. With this joyful anticipation of reward is the knowledge that his self-reliance did not make him earn it but only through the grace and mercy of God. Paul surrendered all to Him while fighting a good fight of faith and enduring the race set before him. This is the same for us. Hardships, persecutions, and spiritual battles may come in different shapes or forms, but our constant God is always there for us. Until our last breath here on earth to the meeting before the ultimate and holy judge, we will be crowned just as Paul was crowned in the name of Christ. This is the beauty that awaits us—an eternity with God in His Kingdom.