Paul writes this second letter to Timothy to encourage him during a time when he appears to have lost heart. Paul is once again in Roman custody, yet amazingly he is the one encouraging Timothy. “I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy”(2 Tim 1:3-4). Paul has not forgotten Timothy and seems to vividly remember his last parting from him in which Timothy shed tears for him.
But Paul is also thinking about the great foundation Timothy has in the gospel. “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well”(2 Tim 1:5). Timothy has been raised by a godly mother and grandmother. They had a faith that lived in them—an “unfeigned faith”(KJV) that has no hypocrisy or fakeness in it—and now Paul is convinced that same faith lives in Timothy. We cannot force anyone to believe, but faith can be passed down as children see parents demonstrate a pure, conscientious trust in God. As Timothy struggles with timidity and fear, Paul wants him to remember the great examples he has seen lived before him.
It is easy in modern times to become jaded about faith. At some point, we see so many news reports detailing corruption among religious leaders and become convinced that the whole enterprise is corrupt. It is vital that we look to examples of sincere, pure, real-deal faith to pull us out of such doldrums and inspire us to serve Jesus again.
------------- One Thing to Think About: What examples of “unfeigned faith” have I seen?
One Thing to Pray For: God’s help as I pass down my faith to the next generation
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