Some Bible study notes from studying 2 Timothy 2:3-4: Endure hardship with us like a good solider of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs–he wants to please his commanding officer.
When I trusted the Lord as my Savior, I also took Him on as Lord—as my Commanding Officer. As my C.O., the Lord has the right to do with me as He pleases.
My life should be totally committed to Him. Although these verses may be talking about a pastor, the same principles are true for me. I am not to become entangled in worldly pursuits. I am to have singleness of purpose: pleasing the Lord. If I am to be a good soldier then my affections, time and talents are to be used in godly pursuits that would further the gospel. Spending time on worldly pursuits can cause my heart to stray from Him and those things can become my treasure. (Matthew 6:21; also Colossians 3:1-2)
Jesus tells us that we are to love the Lord with ALL our heart, soul, mind and strength. That doesn’t leave room for much else. That doesn’t mean that we’re to not do things that are church-related but that in ALL we do, the Lord should be first.
Another thing about a soldier’s life was that hardship was expected. John tells us “not to be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates us” and Peter says “do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you”. But Paul tells Timothy to “Endure hardship with us”. We are not alone in these trials; we have a body of believers who can come alongside to help and comfort. The Lord Himself said that we have a Comforter. We can go to the throne of God and receive mercy and find grace in our time of need.
To live a life that is pleasing to the Lord is one of total commitment and hard work; it is one that involves suffering and trials. We need to rely on the Lord for strength and endurance to be a good soldier; to follow orders from our Commanding Officer whether they are easy or hard. If we have a singleness of purpose as a soldier does, then the Lord will give courage and perseverance to accept the assignment He gives us (Psalm 16:5).
If we persevere and please our Lord, then we will hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness!”