Endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ
2 Timothy 2:3 (mix of KJV and ESV)
How do we react to the tough times that life sometimes throws at us? Do we respond with indignation that such a thing should happen to us? Surprise, disappointment, frustration? Do we become downcast and discouraged?
I was thinking, in the light of some challenges in my own life, of the reaction of the "good soldier." He has been trained for combat. He knows the hardship he is to face on the battle field and has prepared for them. He is not surprised or taken off guard when he faces tiredness, hunger, or the pain of injury. He is focused on the mission. He knows that he must endure these things for a while in order to achieve a greater objective.
Paul encourages us to respond to the hardships of life like this good soldier. Take it on the chin and keep pressing on towards our Master's mission. This is what we have been trained for. He himself gone before us and suffered on our behalf that we might stand. He has given us his life and his Spirit, not so we can give up at the first sign of blood, or throw in the towel after the first skirmish and the first casualty. He wants us to block out the pain and focus on the mission. He has strengthened us to be overcomes.
Whatever life throws at us let us respond as good soldiers not as victimised civilians.