The Apostle Paul, writing in 2 Tim. 4:6-8 reflects on his life in Christ as he seeks to encourage Timothy. He reflects on his present, past, and future in regards to living out his faith. If one seeks to be “An Approved Servant of the Lord,” he or she will do the same.
Paul is in prison in Rome, awaiting execution. Paul knows that he will be with the Lord he has loved and served. Paul says “The time of my departure has come.” (2 Tim. 4:6) The word “departure” means “loosing of a ship from its moorings or a soldier loosing the stakes of his tent.” The believer never really dies, he just departs. Paul told the Philippians, “I have a desire to depart and be with Christ” (Phil. 1:23) He said it was “far better.”
Charles Spurgeon wrote: “To come to Thee is to come home from exile, to come to land out of the raging storm, to come to rest after long labor, to come to the goal of my desire and the summit of my wishes.”
Secondly, Paul had a backward look of his ministry. We all must have this desire. We must look back and reflect on how the Lord has blessed us and used us in His Church. In 2 Tim. 4:7 he uses three words associated with victory. We can have victory in the Risen Lord.
It is heartening to look back and have no regrets. Warren Wiersbe wrote the following, “Two of the images here are athletic: like a determined wrestler or boxer, he had fought a good fight; and like a runner, he had finished his lifelong race victoriously. He had kept the rules a deserved a prize. The third image is that of a steward who had faithfully guarded his boss’ deposit.”
Thirdly, Paul had a future reflection on his life in the Lord. Paul says that he, and us today, because of faithful living will receive “The Crown of Righteousness.” This crown (reward) is given to all faithful Christians who live their lives in expectation of the Lord’s coming. Do you love His appearing? If so, this “crown” will be yours. Unbelievers dread Christ’s coming, but as believers we long for it. Jesus is our “blessed hope.” (Titus 2:13)
If we keep on running the race, fighting the fight and living in expectation of Jesus’ return we will see Him as He is. (1 John 3:2). On that day you will not regret fighting, running and enduring for His Name’s sake.