Aspirations for the New Year
2 Tim 4 is the last chapter in the last book Paul wrote. In this chapter, Paul mentions that he expects to die soon. He says that he is already being offered like a sacrifice. He expected not to live much longer when he wrote this, and he was right.
Today I want to consider just one verse from Paul’s last words—2 Tim 4:7. Paul said these things at the end of his life, but I want us to apply them to the new year that stretches out before us.
When Paul said these words, he was fairly certain that he’d be dying in the near future. He knew what the future held for him—his death was imminent. But as he looks back, he concludes that he had made good use of his life. He’d been engaged in the great spiritual battle; he’d finished the work that God had laid out for him to do; he had been faithful.
We don’t know what’s going to happen in the course of the next year. Perhaps some of us will face death or tragedy this year. On the other hand, for some of us, 2022 might be one of the best years ever. Only God knows what is in store for us this year.
Paul was evaluating his life in light of eternity. As we begin the year, we can have the same attitude as Paul had at the end of his life. At the end of this year, we should be able to say the same things Paul said in 2 Tim 4:7.
Let’s look at the three phrases Paul used in this passage and see how they might apply us in the new year.