“I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day…Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.” 2Timothy 1:12, 14
Paul writes about two things: something we entrust to God that He guards; and something that He entrusts to us which we guard. Let’s look a little closer at both of these.
First, Paul recounts to Timothy the suffering he has had to go through and is going through for the sake of the gospel. He is not having an easy or comfortable life, and in fact, is currently in prison for his faith. He assures Timothy that it will be worth it. God has seen every sacrifice; He has witnessed every accusation and every injustice. God knows that Paul has persevered and continued to turn away from self-pity or bitterness and has tried to be faithful to his calling. Paul believes he will be generously rewarded for his attitudes and actions on the judgment day, and that God Himself is guarding over his reward.
After telling us about something valuable God guards for us, Paul writes about a treasure God expects us to guard. The treasure includes our “sincere faith” (1Timothy 1:5); our ministry “gift” that needs to be continually stirred up (1Timothy 1:6); and the salvation that God has given us “not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus.” (1Timothy 1:9) How do we keep this treasure safe?
- Value that which you have in Christ above everything else. If you don’t recognize the treasure you have it becomes vulnerable to the enemy who Jesus called a thief. (John 10:10)
- Stir up your faith by reading, praying, and obeying every day.
- Don’t become offended with God when you go through trials, confusion, or persecution. Remember Jesus didn’t promise a lack of trouble, but peace within it. (See John 16:33) My favorite bumper sticker: “Life is hard, but God is good.”
- Plan to persevere. “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:35-36)
- Ask for help. One of the things the Holy Spirit does for us, according to the text above, is to help us guard the treasure.