«Because of this, in fact, I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, because I know the one in whom my faith is set and I am convinced that he is able to protect what has been entrusted to me until that day» (2 Timothy 1:12, NET).
WHAT IS THE APOSTLE PAUL referring to in this well-known passage of Scripture with the words “what has been entrusted»? Is Paul referring to something he has entrusted to Christ, or something that Christ has entrusted to him?
The key to knowing what this is referring to is provided by the Greek word paratheke, «a trust.» According to Lawrence O. Richards, the image this word conveys is that of a person who, before embarking on a long journey, leaves his valuables in the custody of someone reliable, and then recovers them on their return home.
Isn’t this a precious illustration of what happens when we place in the custody of our Lord all that we are and possess? In our pilgrimage through this life, we entrust to God our whole life and at the end of the day, He Himself welcomes us into the heavenly home.
Today’s text also lends itself to a second application. Just as you and I have entrusted our lives in God’s hands, isn’t it also true that He has entrusted us with a something? (see 1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Timothy 1:14). In the words of Charles Bradford, we trust in Christ, and He trusts in us. We entrust Him with the safekeeping of our lives, and He in turn entrusts us with preaching the gospel.
What this means in practical terms is that while it is true that we have placed the safekeeping of our live in the hands of the Lord, He, too, has entrusted us with the safekeeping of His Word so that we may keep it in our hearts and preach it with the power of His Holy Spirit, regardless of the consequences.
Wasn’t this precisely what the apostle Paul did? By the time he writes to Timothy, the apostle is imprisoned in Rome for preaching the name of Jesus Christ. In addition, some of his preaching companions have abandoned him. In such adverse circumstances, what does Paul say? He says, «I know the one in whom my faith is set.» And what about you? Do you know in whom your faith is set? Do you also believe that God has the power to keep what you have entrusted to Him? If you believe these things, there is in heaven a crown of righteousness reserved for you, which the Lord will give you; and not only to you, but also to all of us who love His coming.
Thank You, Jesus, because You are worthy of all my trust. In Your hands I place my life so that You may keep it faithful until the day receive from Your hands the crown of victory. Thank You, moreover, for entrusting me with the honor of preaching Your holy gospel.