By Johnstocker

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

Timothy became the beloved disciple of Paul the apostle, and a companion to him on his missionary journeys. Acts 16:1-3 describes how they met when Paul was on a visit to Lystra. Paul wrote two letters to his “son in the faith” (2 Timothy 4:2), and it is clear from these that he gave Timothy oversight of the Christians around the city of Ephesus. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul urges him to “guard what has been entrusted to your care” (1 Timothy 6:20), not allowing anyone to look down on him because of his young age. The apostle called Timothy to “set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity… devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching” (1 Timothy 4:12-13).

However, from the first chapter of the second letter, it seems Timothy was struggling to be a robust leader, and Paul challenges his timidity, exhorting him to suffer for the Gospel’s sake. This Timothy later had to do, for it is thought that he was stoned to death by a mob for opposing worship to the pagan goddess Diana.

God of our life, there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and weigh us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies grey and threatening; when our lives have no music in them, and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage. Flood the path with light, run our eyes to where the skies are full of promise; tune our hearts to brave music; give us the sense of comradeship with heroes and saints of every age; and so quicken our spirits that we may be able to encourage the souls of all who journey with us on the road of life, to Your honour and glory.

Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is the International Director of Barnabas Fund and the Executive Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life.