2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 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.
Paul’s second letter to Timothy was written from prison. This time the apostle felt certain that the emperor would have him executed. But God’s faithful servant was ready to take the next step of faith. We shouldn’t be surprised that Paul met death with calm acceptance. He lived every day—from his conversion on the Damascus Road to his final moments—in service to God, which meant consenting to whatever hardship he was asked to bear in Jesus’ name. “I have fought the good fight,” he reported to Timothy. From his many letters, we know that Paul battled the same enemies we face—the flesh (Rom. 7:14-25), the world (1 Cor. 4:11-13), and Satan (Eph. 6:12). When you’re tempted to think that he was somehow more holy than you, meditate on these passages. Paul persevered by faith, just as we must.
Even with his profound wisdom and admirable skill as an apostle, missionary, and statesman, Paul wasn’t so different from ordinary you and me. He was not perfect, and he had spiritual defeats. But Paul didn’t stay down. He got back into the fight. For this and for the life he lived, he anticipated the rich rewards of eternity. And he pointed out that heaven’s treasures were “and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Tim. 4:8). Paul struggled and agonized, as believers today often do. But he kept the faith, and you can too. Fight the good fight, Friend. Battle your enemies by choosing to trust, obey, and rely upon the Lord. You will bring honor to Him and store up treasures in heaven for yourself.