Read 2 Timothy 1:1­­­-7.

The apostle Paul was languishing in a Roman prison when he wrote to Timothy, his spiritual son. He knew he might soon be executed for his faith in Jesus Christ, and so he decided to leave this letter, known today as 2 Timothy, as his legacy for future generations of church leaders.

Paul wanted Timothy, and anyone else feeling defeated, to experience victory and triumph. He wrote so that each of us might know joy in the midst of despair and be encouraged with Truth. Paul’s message was simple: Don’t give up. And in these first few verses, he gives Timothy three reasons to keep going, to keep contending for the Truth.

First, he tells Timothy that he is praying for him—not just every once in a while, when Timothy crosses his mind, nor just before bed as he checks items off his prayer list. No! Paul tells him, “[N]ight and day, I constantly remember you in my prayers” (2 Timothy 1:3, emphasis added). What an encouragement! What a shot in the arm it must have been for Timothy to know that the great apostle Paul was praying for him night and day, bringing him before the throne of God again and again.

Second, Paul reviews Timothy’s godly heritage: “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (v. 5). Parents, know that the seeds of faith and wisdom you’re sowing in the lives of your children will bear much fruit. You may not see the fruit right away, but it will come.

Get out the family album, get out the Word of God, and start remembering God’s past blessings on you and your family. Start remembering His past protection. Remember how He rescued you personally. Today, that same God wants to bless, encourage, and use you and your family once again.

Finally, Paul reminds Timothy that the Holy Spirit working within him knows nothing of timidity or fear. Instead, He gives God’s people “power, love and self-discipline” (v. 7), which are yours in Christ, no matter what you may be facing. God is on your side, and nothing is impossible for Him.

Don’t give up. Lean on the Word of God. The Holy Spirit has given us everything we need to be faithful soldiers for Jesus Christ here and now. 

Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your past faithfulness that gives me confidence for the trials I am facing now. I know You are with me and will not forsake me. May my faith grow more and more as I lean on You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Don’t Ever Give Up, Part 1: LISTEN NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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