The School of Faithfulness

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Original photo by Maria Ly

Daily Reformation, 2 Timothy 3:10-14

From the Reformer

In order to urge Timothy, he employs this argument also, that he is not an ignorant and untaught soldier, because Paul carried him through a long course of training. Nor does he speak of doctrine only; for those things which he likewise enumerates add much weight, and he gives to us, in this sentence, a very lively picture of a good teacher, as one who does not, by words only, train and instruct his disciples, but, so to speak, opens his very breast to them, that they may know, that whatever he teaches, he teaches sincerely. This is what is implied in the word purpose He likewise adds other proofs of sincere and unfeigned affection, such as faith, mildness, love, patience, Such were the early instructions which had been imparted to Timothy in the school of Paul. Yet he does not merely bring to remembrance what he had learned from him, but bears testimony to his former life, that in this manner he may urge him to perseverance; for he praises him as an imitator of his own virtues; as if he had said, “Thou hast been long accustomed to follow my instructions; I ask nothing more than that thou shouldst go on as thou hast begun.” It is his wish, however; that the example of his “faith, love, and patience” should be constantly before the eyes of Timothy; and for that reason he dwells chiefly on his persecutions, which were best known to him.

—John Calvin, Commentary on Timothy, Titus, Philemon

Pulling It Together

“I’m tired and I just can’t do this anymore,” the husband said recently and then left his wife. Life is indeed difficult—especially for the Christian because the standard is higher. When the marriage is too difficult, Christians take the risk and press on with hope in God—not hope in spouse or in self or even in results. When the people at church are bull-headed, believers move through it with humility. When finances are thin, the faithful give generously. When health is tried, they patiently move through with the peace of Christ. How do Christians get through the tough times in life? They believe that God is in it. As difficult as life sometimes is, they know from the examples of Jesus and the apostles and a host of champions before them that life is a training school in faithfulness.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

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