“Therefore, I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” 2 Timothy 2:10
The sea floor is a grave to many shipwrecks! Ferocious storms have sent a lot of ships to the bottom, especially ships required to capture the wind with their huge sails. Modern engine-powered ships fare far better. But even some of them have ended their life at the bottom of the sea.
The Alexandrian ship which Acts 27 recounts was headed for disaster along with all its passengers. They were in desperate straits in a great storm, throwing all weight overboard to lighten the ship, when Paul alone was suddenly addressed by an angel of God.
The angel confirmed exclusively to Paul that he would make it safely to Rome to stand before Caesar, and what is more not one fellow passenger or crew member of his ship would perish in the sea.
Paul believed in his Sovereign God. But he did not then take a siesta! He took charge. He gave directions. He told the sea captain to not let the sailors abandon the almost sinking ship or the ship would surely perish. He worked with every bit of his strength and ingenuity toward the fulfilling of the purpose God had set for this ship!
This is the very thing you must do even knowing and believing God’s promises for you and others. “I endure everything for the sake of the elect! That they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”
We know God’s purposes cannot be thwarted. We know all the elect will come to Christ. Yet, you still must put yourself fully into the purposes of God with every bit of your strength, just as though it will not succeed without you!
This is the teaching of Scripture. This is God’s gracious intent for you. He is sovereign, but you are his helper in the task set before Him. There are those who falsely teach that since God is going to do it all, we should not get in His way by trying to help. Nonsense! This is not what Scripture or Paul teaches!
Your witness, your unfailing prayers, your love for Christ shown by your every obedience to what He commands are all absolutely necessary to the attaining of God’s purposes. It is mysterious. But it is true!
“May His beauty rest upon me as I seek the lost to win, and may they forget the channel, seeing only Him.”
(5th verse of Kate Wilkinson’s hymn, “May the Mind of Christ My Savior,” 1925)