It Comes With the Calling

In listening to John Piper's sermon yesterday at the The Gospel Coalition Conference, I was struck and encouraged by something from 2 Timothy that I had not seen before. It was from 2 Timothy 1:11-12. Paul is talking about being appointed by God as a preacher, teacher, and Apostle.

"...for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do."

What a striking and encouraging word from God to pastors. It is striking because it tells us that in the pastorate, as a preacher and teacher, we will suffer. We will suffer in more ways than we could ever imagine. That is just a part of being a pastor.

But this word from God is also encouraging. We suffer as we do because we are preachers and teachers of God's Word and especially of His Gospel. If you are not suffering as a preacher and teacher of God's Word and Gospel, then you are probably not teaching or preaching God's Word or His Gospel. But when you are suffering because you are preaching and teaching God's Word and God's Gospel, oh what an encouragement that is even in the midst of the hurt of the suffering. Why? Because as a preacher and teacher of God's Word and God's Gospel, you did not choose this. No. You were appointed to this by God and this is not a surprise to Him and so it should not be to you. And so the reaction should be as Paul says in verse 12,

"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."

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