6 為了這緣故，我提醒你，要把神藉著我按手給你的恩賜，像火一樣再挑旺起來。 7 因為神所賜給我們的，不是膽怯的靈，而是有能力、仁愛、自律的靈。 8 所以，不要以給我們的主作見證當作羞恥，也不要以我這為主被囚的當作羞恥，卻要為了福音的緣故，靠著神的大能，與我同受磨難。 9神救了我們，以聖召呼召我們，不是按照我們的行為，卻是按照他自己的計劃和恩典；這恩典是在永世之先，在基督耶穌裡賜給了我們的， 10 但現在藉著我們救主基督耶穌的顯現，才表明出來。他廢掉了死亡，藉著福音把生命和不朽彰顯出來。 11 為這福音，我被派作傳道的、使徒和教師。 12 為了這緣故，我也受這些苦，但我不以為恥，因為我知道我所信的是誰，也深信他能保守我所交託他的，直到那日。
- 回想一件我曾受過的苦。思想一下，神怎樣透過這個痛苦的經歷，是我的 生命得到塑造？我對神有怎樣進深的認識與體會？
6For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
8So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.
- It’s amazing what some people are willing to suffer for. Athletes are willing to suffer through training to receive a gold medal. Some are willing to suffer to reach a mountaintop. Some are willing to suffer to obtain certain physique. Others sacrifice home and family to make more money on a job that takes them constantly on the road. Some sacrifice everything at the altar of their children. Others suffer through heartbreak after heartbreak as they seek “the one” perfect husband/wife.
- Paul asks us to suffer for something far more worthwhile. The Gospel is that amazing expression of God’s grace, revealed in Christ’s appearance, that announces God’s victory over death and invites everyone to come to Him for “life and immortality”. Now that is something worth suffering for. Besides, our times of suffering become spiritually significant when they are induced by faithful discipleship and when we see them as opportunities to rely on the power of God.
- Recall one experience of suffering in the past. Consider how God through this suffering brought transformation to my life? What deeper understanding and appreciation of God have I gained from it?
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2012 “Spiritual Journal” book.