In this passage in 2 Timothy 2:3-7, Paul has used the examples of soldiers and athletes to show us how Christians need to endure for the Gospel if they want to be “An Approved Servant of the Lord.” The third example in this passage is that of a hard working farmer.
Farmers must toil everyday if they are going to be successful in farming. John MacArthur writes the following, “Hardworking is from a Gr. verb meaning ‘to labor to the point of exhaustion.’ Paul is urging Timothy not to be lazy or indolent, but to labor intensely with a view to the harvest.” Paul also reminded the Colossians that he, along with us, need to be striving in the Lord’s work (Col. 1:28-29)
The farmer, as well as the soldier and the athlete must not take any shortcuts in their labor. Just like the farmer we must be laboring in the Lord’s harvest. We must be found sowing, planting, plowing and monitoring our work. The farmer is one who is devoted to his work at all times. So it is with the Christian.
Paul told the Galatians “we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we do not give up” (Gal. 6:9) We must put all our efforts into learning more about God’s Word and not be lazy in our study of the Bible. We must work hard and believe that God will help us. We must have a heart of humility in our lives. If we labor like a “hardworking farmer,” we will see the results in our lives that the Lord wants. We will be ones who know what we believe and why.