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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

TRUST IN THE LIVING GOD

1 Tim 4:10-11 For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, Who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach.

"For therefore," that is, because we have the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come, by becoming a Christian and leading a life of godliness (See Vs. 8 above), Paul tells Timothy that we labor and suffer reproach. Wealth and acclaim was never promised to faithful Christians that demonstrated godliness in their lives here on earth. Neither was it promised to faithful preachers and teachers of God's word. What is promised, to those that follow the Holy Spirit-inspired message of Jesus Christ and His apostles, is both labor and ...reproach. No other apostle was known to have labored more diligently among the Gentile nations, and suffered more reproach from both Jewish zealots and heathen radicals, than the apostle Paul. Therefore, he could speak with much authority on this matter. As a devoted Hebrew of the seed of Abraham, Paul recognized the error in his life, and humbly became a minister of Christ. Because of this, he was beaten with rods, stoned and left for dead, imprisoned, shipwrecked, suffered the perils of robbers, suffered at the hands of his own countrymen, the heathen, false brethren, and suffered hunger, thirst, cold, and nakedness (See 2 Cor. 11:21-27).

Indeed, Paul spoke from his Christian experience serving the will of God, when he wrote to Timothy, that we labor and suffer reproach. From this we know that all Christians, exercising godliness in their lives, must labor for the cause of Christ, and, in doing so, can expect to suffer reproach from all people that oppose God and refuse to accept His Son, Jesus as their Savior. To patiently, and willingly, suffer the persecution of the world for the cause of Christ is acceptable with God, ...because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps (See 1 Pet. 2:19-21). Christians are not only to believe on Him (Jesus Christ), but also to suffer for His sake (Phil. 1:29).

This fact being the assured, Paul tells us why he, Timothy, and Christians of all ages, must expect the same treatment from the world in which we live. Persecution and suffering for the sake of Christ comes from Satan, and from those men and women who follow his ways. Christians suffer because we trust in the living God, rather than in man-made idols of wood, stone, gold, or silver. Christians suffer because we trust in the living God, rather than trusting in the philosophies of fellow human beings. Christians suffer because we trust in the living God, rather than in uncertain riches (1 Tim. 6:17).

In prophesy Jeremiah wrote: Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is (Jer. 17:7). All things that tempt us, to distrust God, come from Satan. He attempts to take away the true word of God that is sown in the hearts of mankind (Mark 4:15); he, and his followers deceive the world by holding themselves up as ministers of righteousness (2 Cor. 11:13-15); he speaks in lies to destroy our trust in God (John 8:44-45).

The God in whom we place our trust is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe. Salvation can only be found in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15). It is here, and only here, where we find the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29). This all Christians must believe: that God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:16-17).

These are the truths found in God's word, which all Christians must believe, obey, and teach to all men and women of the world around us to the best of our abilities. And because we do so, we are assured to suffer ridicule, persecution, and reproach, from the very ones that we are trying to bring eternal salvation, through Jesus Christ. Such is the cunningly evil ways of Satan. We are not to allow him to deceive us or take advantage of us for we are not ignorant of his devices (2 Cor. 2:11). These spiritual truths found in God's word, Paul instructed Timothy, to command and teach. The true meaning of Christian godliness must be taught, for it is profitable unto all things, both in the life that now is, and of that which is to come.Itis the hope of eternal salvation. We must place our trust in the living God. He is alive. He lives in Heaven. He wants us to come live with Him, and spend eternity in His presence. In Him we must place our complete trust!