2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Yeshua Ha Mashiach.
Here in verse three of this chapter of spiritual champions, we get to the crux of Timothy’s weaknesses.
The crux: is Timothy’s cross. No “dog tags” for this warrior — just a bloody cross! Yet, Timothy can seem to find no place for this item on his uniform.
His cross doesn’t fit the ideals and the dreams of glory, combat and victory he had in mind when embarking on the battlefield for His LORD! In a rage of mental rejection, he rips the crucifix from his neck, and searches for his dog tags – to find them mysteriously missing. His mind races to find someone to blame for this apparent oversight that was left out of his training. He sits down to pen his letter of discontent to the only one he could blame – Apostle Paul.
The Bible does not record just what Timothy shared with Paul to elicit this verse, but the inference drawn from the discourse points to a soldier alone on the battlefield weighted down with the gravity of his cross at a hostile duty station with enemy fire all around him. Paul, his commanding officer, had commissioned and deployed him on a special assignment to Ephesus to correct several spiritual problems at the newly formed local church.
Here is where Timothy is being transformed into the image of His suffering Savior. He is truly one with Yeshua as he is bearing his cross. Yet, the weight of it is bringing him near his breaking point! Should he stay on the battlefield in the midst of this horrid adversity or retreat in defeat? How important would Paul’s response (his letter to Timothy) be in Timothy’s decision for Messiah?
How easy it had been to bear his crucifix in the company of his spiritual father.
How lonely it feels now to bear it alone. Perhaps this is why a wise Preacher once said… “Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. ” Touche’!
Paul’s response is practical yet compassionate. He encouraged Timothy to endure his suffering as he had so often done himself. Paul did not hide the fact from Timothy that he should expect to suffer as a follower of Yeshua. He first let him know that he was also enduring hardness for Messiah, and even though they may be battling oppressive warfare in separate locations — their cause united them in their suffering. Timothy was not alone.
- Suffering for your cause is expected of all good soldiers.
- Suffering for Messiah was part of Timothy’s battle dress uniform!
- It was part of his duty.
It was not an option. Therefore, he must find strength in Yeshua to wear his crucifix with pride on his uniform – attached to a cord tying him to His Savior tucked in his pocket right next to his heart.
Once Timothy accepted his duty with all of its suffering, perils and pain he would realize that this location was the best place for a crucifix on one of Yahweh’s Special Forces uniforms.
— Apostle Prince, The Master’s Servant