On this Memorial Day, many are commemorating those who lost their lives defending our country and preserving our liberties. They suffered in order to ensure our freedom. In II Timothy 2:10 we find a similar concept. The Apostle Paul writes: “For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.”
Paul wrote that he suffered — he said “I endure all things” — but he did it for a reason: “so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus …”. Paul was willing to suffer persecution and even death, in order to facilitate others coming to know the Lord.
One application of this verse for us is the challenge to be willing to suffer, as Paul did, in order that other people might be saved. It is God’s goal for each of us to become like Christ (Romans 8:29). When we suffer that others might obtain salvation we are indeed “following in His steps” (I Peter 2:21) Who suffered that we might be saved. In fact, this is perhaps the greatest imitation of Christ we may achieve. A searching question for each of us should be: how much is this happening in my life? Is there any way in which I am suffering, in order that others may obtain salvation?