Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,
who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. (2 Timothy 1:8-11)
Paul is teaching Timothy that he must not be ashamed of speaking up for Jesus Christ. He must not be fearful, or he will fail to fulfil his calling.
We are going to suffer for the gospel if we truly live and preach it. This is unavoidable. The gospel was not given so that we could have the best things of this world and heaven too. It is a call to depart from the love of the world, from conformity to the present world system, and to love and adore the Son of God who gave His precious life to rescue us.
This will be opposed by people who set their minds on earthly things, who love comfort, pleasing people and to be spoken well of by all men.
Yes, to fulfil our calling to be faithful witnesses, especially in these last days, we will have to “share … in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God”
God has saved us and called us with a holy calling. These are two different but related things. The holy calling is not simply to be “saved”, but to fulfil God’s plan for our lives. We don’t write our own script. God has a script and a plan, which we need to find out by seeking Him and obeying His leading.
One reason that “many are called, but few chosen” is because of all the born again believers that are called by God, many succumb to the pressures of fear – especially the fear of man, the fear of suffering and so on. For this reason, they do not and will not declare the whole counsel of God without fear.
Paul was able to fulfil his call as a preacher, an apostle and a teacher of the gospel because he did not run away from the sufferings which the Lord showed him that he must suffer in doing the will of God.
May God help us to be found worthy of our calling and not only to enter that calling, but be faithful in it to complete it and be faithful in it to the very end. And it is only through God’s grace, or spiritual help, that we will be able to do this.
What do you believe is your own calling from the Lord? Perhaps you could share it online here on this site, some aspects of it, so that others here can encourage you in the fulfilment of it.