In the midst of this battle zone, Paul writes in 2 Timothy 1:1-2: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, to preach the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, to Timothy , my beloved child: may grace, mercy and peace be given to you from God the Father and Jesus Christ our Lord!”

We see here that Paul does not use his usual greetings. In most of the epistles he writes: “Grace and peace be unto you.” There he writes “May grace, mercy and peace…“. This is very important, Paul only mentions mercy in three epistles, in the first and second epistles to Timothy and in Titus.

For what ? Because in these three cases, Paul is speaking to someone who is overwhelmed by the situation. For example, in the 1st epistle, Timothy has just begun his duties as pastor in Ephesus and he feels overwhelmed because the growth of his church is so rapid that he fears he will not be up to the task. He needs something more than grace and peace, because of the colossal task that awaits him; He needs to know that divine mercy is there to help him in his situation!

Have you ever felt the need of divine mercy? In 2 Timothy we saw that he was distraught over the decline of his church, because people were abandoning him, the church, and the Lord. Now he is overwhelmed by hurt, rejection and anger.
In order to continue to work for the Lord, he needs a greater measure of mercy. Have you ever needed a larger measure of mercy in order to get through a horribly difficult situation?

Put yourself in Titus’ place when Paul left him alone in Crete to establish a church there. A Cretan prophet had made this statement about his own people: “The Cretans are all liars, evil beasts, gluttons and lazy people.” And Paul agrees: “This testimony is true.” (Titus 1:12-13)

Try starting a church with people like that!

Titus needed to know that God was providing him with a special measure of mercy in order to accomplish this difficult task, he needed it to work with the Cretans!

It’s good to know that when God asks us to do something difficult, something beyond our control, and we don’t feel up to it, He slips a little more mercy between peace and grace.

There is a special measure of mercy for those who are overwhelmed by the difficulty of their situation. It was particularly comforting for young Timothy, and for you too, who live in the combat zone!

This text is an extract from the book “Living in the Combat Zone” written by Rick Renner.

We invite you to read the following article “How Roman Paranoia Bred a Monster“.

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