But understand this, that in the last days will come perilous times of great stress and trouble, hard to deal with and hard to bear. 2 Timothy 3:1 Amplified
I saw a movie some years ago called "Behind Enemy Lines." It was about this navy pilot who was shot down in Serbia (I think), which was deep in enemy territory. He was all alone with no one to help, but he knew if he could just make it to this one rendezvous spot, the US Navy would rescue him. Trouble was, it wasn't very close by. During the entire movie, we watch him trek across this horrid war zone, trying to evade the enemy. He is caught, beaten, tortured. He is hungry, thirsty, cold, exhausted, injured, with no where to lay his head. But there's one thing that keeps him going. One thing that gives him hope and peace in the midst of all his struggles. He trusts in his commanding officer to be at that spot to rescue him.
So, what are you to do? What is your job?
To follow His instructions to the rendezvous point and to bring as many people along with you as you can.
But you must trust that God will be there with open arms or you will falter along the way. You'll lose your hope when the enemy captures you temporarily or you are injured, hungry, or cold. Without that trust in your commander, you will get angry and worried and lose your peace.
The Apostle Paul knew what it was like to live behind enemy lines:
In 2 Corinthians 11, he describes just a few of his experiences as he traveled through enemy territory
- Given forty lashes 5 times
- Beaten with Rods 3 times
- Stoned to near death once
- Shipwrecked at sea three times
- Spent 24 hours adrift at sea
- Perils from rivers, bandits, from the Jews, from the Gentiles.
- Perils in the city in the desert, at sea, from counterfiet Christians
- Sleepless nights
- Hunger and thirst
- Cold and exposure
- Lacking in clothing
Still in Philippians 4, he said,
I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency.
In another letter, he added.
. . .I am positively persuaded that He is able to guard and keep that which has been entrusted to me and which I have committed to Him until that day. 2 Tim 1:12
Paul knew his Commander. He knew Him personally and He trusted Him with his life. Paul finally made his way to the rendezvous point, enduring the trials along the way.. He suffered much. Fought the good fight and ended up with a victorious life and a glorious eternity.
I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race, I have kept (firmly held) the faith. 2 Tim 4:7.
How could he do this? Because He trusted His commander to see him through.
God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9