In our last visit we began looking at the hymn of encouragement and praise Paul referred to in 2nd Timothy 2:11-13. I encouraged you to memorize it and reflect on it in times of discouragement. Let me add some further reasons to hide the words of this hymn in your mind and heart.
There are personal benefits incorporated in this hymn. When you trust in Jesus Christ for your salvation you become lights in this dark world, because you are identified with the light of the world. As you die to your own desires and dreams you begin to live in a new and richer relationship with Jesus Christ.
He gives you the strength to endure, and as you do, the reward will be to reign with Him. If, on the other hand, you disown Him when facing opposition, it’s an indication you have not fully trusted in Him. This is what happened to Judas, who not only disowned Jesus Christ and turned Him over to enemy forces, he later hung himself in disgrace.
In 2nd Corinthians 13:5 Paul encouraged the people in the Corinthian church to “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test?” This is not referring to failure now and then, like Peter when he denied his Lord three times. Jesus told him ahead of time that He had prayed for him, that after failing in this way he would repent and return to live for Christ.
The final affirmation in this hymn is that if we fail, God “will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” Now that’s a hymn that should encourage all of us!