God plays the long game…our failures often become the victory ground of God when he takes our mess and makes something beautiful. That is why we cannot overstate the power and importance of reconciliation. It is God’s gift to us. God pours it out he forms his servants for ministry…using their failures in ways that sometimes seem more effective than if those failures never happened. Think about what that tells you about what kind of God he is! Think about what good news that is! He is a God who puts you back together more whole and complete than you were before you were broken! What kind of God must he be?! Here’s the truth—you are a failure too. But God is not done with you! You do not have to be successful in the world’s eyes in order to be acceptable to God…all you need is Jesus.
The church in Ephesus, where Timothy was serving when Paul wrote this letter, was threatened from the outside and from within. Paul himself was arrested and imprisoned and facing death, and it looked like his gospel had failed—even Paul’s friends were jumping ship. Timothy was dealing with a church filled with quarreling and false teaching.
Into this situation, Paul wrote this letter to affirm Timothy…and encourage him to fulfill the ministry God gave him ——he sends this letter to say: boldly take up what you were given, guard it, pass it on, and keep going until your ministry is fulfilled!