Yet I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am persuaded that he is able to guard what was committed to me until that day. – 2 Timothy 1:12
What made you into a Christian believer? I’m going to assume that most, if not all of the readers of this devotional list are Christians. Think back to “the hour you first believed” and ask yourself: What made me do it?
Our verse today gets translated in different ways. If you check your own Bible, you will likely find it translated a bit differently. The key issue is whether Paul is talking about that which God committed to him, Paul, or whether it is talking of something that Paul has committed to God. The wording of the Greek will allow either translation.
I translated the verse so that Paul is confident that God can protect the thing that God committed to Paul, the gospel message, until the day of Christ’s return. But there is a sense in which the verse could be understood either way. In accepted God’s commitment of the gospel message to him, Paul has also made a commitment of himself, his comfort, his safety, and even his life to God.
We talk a great deal about belief. Why do we believe in God? Why do we believe that Jesus died for our sins? But belief in that sense is just a starting point. While one would hardly put one’s trust in God if one didn’t believe in God, just believing in God doesn’t mean that we trust God, does it?
An online friend, Mike Beidler, summarized his reason for believing when he was asked in a radio interview about believing in God without scientific evidence. He said:
. . . my belief in God is, first and foremost, based on my encounter with a Jewish carpenter named Jesus of Nazareth, who has transformed my life. His presence in and influence on my life is so evident to me that to reject the existence and influence of Christ would be akin to denying the existence of my own wife and children. (Summary from this BBC radio interview.)
You may be able to base your belief on evidence, though evidence changes and can be interpreted in many ways. The big bang theory, for example, is used both as evidence for and against God. But you trust based on experience.
That’s why spending time with God is so very important. If you believed for just a moment at some time in the past you might forget it. If you came to a logical conclusion that God existed, your logic might change.
On the other hand, if you had a chat with God this morning at your bedside or in front of your desk, it will be very hard to convince you that God isn’t there.
Are you, like Paul, “persuaded?” Are you convinced? Can you place everything, even your life, in God’s hands? Encountering and experiencing God will build such trust.