“I put this charge before you, Timothy my child, in keeping with the prophecies once spoken about you, in order that with such encouragement you may fight the good fight. To do this you must hold firmly to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck in regard to faith.” (1 Timothy 1:18-19)
Paul is sharing with Timothy navigational principles for life that will prevent experiencing spiritual shipwreck. Yesterday we discovered that one must be confident and committed to their calling. Today we see that one must be confident and committed to faith in God if we are going to avoid the brokenness and ruin of shipwrecked lives.
When Paul told Timothy to “hold firmly,” this speaks of more than just possessing faith or having it in one’s hands. It carries the idea of adhering, clinging, or being closely joined to faith. It’s one thing in life to say we believe in or trust in God but it’s another thing to actively and continually place our confidence and conviction in God. James writes, “You believe that God is one; well and good. Even the demons believe that – and tremble with fear.” (James 2:19) Fallen angels obviously believe in God but are unwilling to trust in God’s plan and purpose for their life. They no longer entrust themselves to God and let go of their existence and place themselves under the care and guardianship of God. Paul states this is what we must continually do if we are to avoid spiritual danger and destruction. It’s not enough for us to start off trusting in God, we must continue to trust in Him. “For we have become partners with Christ, if in fact we hold our initial confidence firm until the end.” (Hebrews 3:14) Paul said, “I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith!” (Philippians 4:7)
At any point in our journey with Christ we can cease holding firmly to faith. This is why it is absolutely necessary that we follow Jesus as His devoted disciples. Through our ongoing commitment we will stay strong in our faith and realize more and more that each step of life must be a step of faith. We never outgrow faith any more than outgrowing God. Don’t just speak about faith. Exercise your faith today. Place your full trust in the One who can always be trusted.