2 Timothy 1:6
Have you ever experienced the delivering and rescuing power of God? I’m talking about those moments when your situation looks completely hopeless—but suddenly God’s amazing grace intervenes and your situation is miraculously changed! Can you think of moments like this in your past?
It’s amazing that when we are confronted with a new challenge, we often fail to remember God’s faithfulness in the past. Our perspective gets blurry because of the problems we are currently facing, and we forget that we’ve gone through similar or worse circumstances before. The looming mountain of problems before us looks so big that we momentarily fail to remember all the other mountains we’ve already faced and overcome with the help of God.
When Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy, the younger man was facing the biggest mountain of his life. Nero had become the emperor of the Roman Empire. Because of his tyrannical rule, believers were being persecuted and were even dying for their faith. In the midst of all the panic, Timothy was tempted to fear for his life and his future. He must have wondered, Is God going to be faithful to me in this terrible hour?
So in Second Timothy 1:5, Paul tells Timothy, “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice, and I am persuaded that in thee also.” Paul wanted to remind Timothy about something very important!
God’s faithfulness was a part of Timothy’s family heritage. His grandmother trusted the Lord—and the Lord had never failed her or let her down. His mother trusted the Lord—and the Lord had never failed her or let her down either. Because Timothy was dealing with great stress and difficulty, Paul took the opportunity to remind him that just as God had never failed his grandmother or mother, neither would He abandon Timothy in his difficult hour.
Then Paul told him, “… I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6). I want you to particularly focus on the phrase, “I put thee in remembrance.” It is taken from the Greek word anamimnesko, a compound of the words ana and mimnesko. Pay close attention, because this is very important! The word ana means again or to repeat something. The second part of the word mimnesko means to be reminded of something, such as memories.
When these two words are joined together as in this verse, it means to regather or to recollect memories. The little prefix ana carries the idea of replaying these memories over and over again in your mind, the way you would hit the rewind button on your video player so you can back up and watch one part of a movie over and over again.
This means there are some memories we should never forget! For example, we should constantly hit the rewind button in our minds and “replay” the times that God has been faithful to us in the past—delivering us, healing us, and rescuing us time and time again. We should “replay” those scenes in our minds until we never forget His faithfulness to us!
You could translate Second Timothy 1:6 in the following way:
“I am putting you in memory of all these things, so that by your remembering them, you might stir up the gift of God that is in you….”
Paul reminds Timothy (and us) to take our eyes off these times of trouble or the present crisis and to remember God’s delivering and rescuing power in the past. If we really looked at our past, we’d find that we have faced other moments more severe than the one we’re facing right now—and God never failed us or let us down. In fact, He delivered us and turned those situations around!
Don’t ever forget what God has already done for you, for those memories will stir you up and encourage you to face your present dilemma with faith. Just as God has always been faithful to you in the past, He will be faithful to you right now.
Never forget how:
- God has healed you.
- God has delivered you.
- God has saved you.
- God has guided and directed you.
- God has brought you through difficult trials.
- God has provided for you during hard financial times.
- God has protected you from the snare of the enemy.
These kinds of memories are powerful and will stir up your faith today!
So the next time the devil tells you there is no way you’ll survive what you’re facing, take the time to get alone with the Lord. Then hit the rewind button, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you regather and recollect all those past events when God came through for you! As you replay those memories over and over in your mind, your faith will rise to a new level of confidence. You’ll be able to look your problems right in the face and say, “God’s record with me has always been faithfulness, and I know He’ll be faithful to me now as well!”