You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
Paul had written the letter we call Second Timothy from a Roman prison. The Apostle Paul was being held captive for a second time in his life. This imprisonment was the result of Nero’s persecution of Christians following the great fire of Rome. Emperor Nero himself had started the blaze to make way for new construction, however, when the fire got out of hand and destroyed a large section of the city there was a public outcry. Nero quickly looked for a scapegoat and found one in the Christians. This takes place approximately five or six years after Paul’s first imprisonment which we read about in the book of Acts. However, at that time his custody was more of a house arrest where he was allowed visitors and the basic comforts of life. This time Paul is in a cold, dark Roman prison cell. Paul knows the end is close at hand with his execution eminent. Because of Nero’s persecution, many of Paul’s close friends have abandoned him.
The people Paul knew and loved had become afraid of being caught up in the persecution brought about by Nero. Paul in his letter is urging Timothy to come quickly while there is still time. In addition, Paul wrote this letter to help Timothy understand that as a follower of Christ, we are at enmity with the world. Moreover, we are enemies of the, “prince of the power of the air” who is Satan, who is the primary influence behind this fallen world we live in. Therefore, persecution and trials will come because of our relationship with Christ. Trials and tribulation are part of our faith and will come because of the fallen world we live in, they are a part of our Christian walk. However, we are to remain strong in the Lord and not let the world make us ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, which brings Salvation unto all men. Our strength comes from the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our hearts and from anything we possess of ourselves. This strength and perseverance will grow stronger as we study God’s word, spend time in prayer and submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.