The apostle Paul says of God, “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began” (2 Timothy 1:9, NKJV).
Every person who is ‘in Christ’ is called by the Lord. We all have the same mandate: to hear God’s voice, proclaim his Word, never fear man and trust the Lord in the face of every conceivable trial.
Indeed, God made this promise to his prophet Jeremiah when he called him (see Jeremiah 1:1-10). Like Jeremiah, we don’t need to have a message prepared to speak before the world. He has pledged to fill our mouths with his Word at the exact moment it’s needed. That will only happen, though, if we trust him.
Paul tells us that many are appointed as preachers, teachers and apostles, and that they are all going to suffer for that reason. He counts himself among those. “I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For this reason I also suffer these things” (2 Timothy 1:11-12). He was saying, “God has given me a holy work to do. Because I have that calling, I am going to suffer.”
Scripture shows that Paul was tested as few ministers have ever been. Satan tried to kill him time after time. The so-called religious crowd rejected and ridiculed him. At times, even those who supported him left him abused and forsaken.
However, Paul was never confounded before men. He was never dismayed or put to shame before the world. Paul never burned out. On every occasion, he had an anointed word to speak from God, just when it was needed.
The fact is Paul simply wouldn’t be shaken. He never lost his trust in the Lord. Instead, he testified, “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep what I have committed to him until that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). He was saying, “I have committed my life fully to the Lord’s faithfulness. Live or die, I am his.” Not only that but he urged his young charge Timothy to do likewise. “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13).