There are not many people I would refer to as heroes. For me, the hero list would actually be really short. But one who would be near the top would be the Apostle Paul.
He endured difficulties that would cause many of us to despair. Constantly chased out of cities and towns. Incarcerated. Beaten. Whipped. Shipwrecked. Stoned and left for dead. All because of his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, I should be quick to add that Paul wasn’t perfect. He was very candid, at least in general terms, about his own struggles. “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15) Paul battled against temptations just like everyone else.
But Paul also had an unshakeable confidence in God.
Most theologians agree that the final letter that Paul wrote was 2 Timothy. He was in prison awaiting what would be his final trial. Near the beginning of the letter he writes of his imprisonment. Much of the letter, though, is encouragement to Timothy to keep going, keep pressing forward, keep trusting God, keep fighting the fight.
It’s early in the letter that Paul – the same guy who has gone through unspeakable trials, battled temptations, and is now sitting in a Roman prison – makes an amazing statement. “But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.” (2 Timothy 1:12)
In spite of the circumstance, Paul was absolutely confident in God. Regardless of what had happened, or was currently happening, Paul knew that the Lord had him in the palm of His hand.
What about you? Are you convinced that He is able to guard what He has entrusted to you?