Paul encouraged his spiritual son Timothy to not be ashamed of preaching the gospel and to expect suffering because of his calling. Paul said:
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. (2 Timothy 1:8-12, NKJV)
Paul’s admonition of Timothy implied that he was dealing with feelings of shame and his ministry was being affected by it. Paul encouraged Timothy to rely on the power of God and to remember that he had been given a gift from God to do the work he had been called to (2 Timothy 1:6, 8). Paul didn’t identify Timothy’s gift, but it can be assumed that it had something to do with teaching or preaching the word of God. Paul instructed Timothy to “stir up the gift of God” (2 Timothy 1:6), suggesting that Timothy’s gift was not being used and had diminished in strength. The Greek word translated stir, anazopureo (an-ad-zo-poor-eh’-o) means “to kindle afresh” or “keep in full flame” (G329). It might have been that Timothy had distanced himself from Paul’s gospel and was neglecting to mention certain points that he felt were too controversial. In other words, Timothy had watered down Paul’s message.
Paul told Timothy that he wasn’t ashamed of what he was doing because he had a personal relationship with Jesus who had already demonstrated his capability of completing the work that was given to him (2 Timothy 1:12). Essentially, what Paul was saying was that Timothy had nothing to worry because he knew Jesus wouldn’t let him down. Paul was convinced that Timothy’s mission could be successfully completed if he relied on the power of the Holy Spirit. He instructed Timothy to, “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us” (2 Timothy 1:13-14, NKJV).
Paul instructed Timothy to rely on God’s grace to give him strength. He said, “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1, NKJV). The strength Paul was referring to was the result of an empowering by the Holy Spirit. The Greek word translated strong, endunamoo (en-doo-nam-o’-o) is derived from the words en, which indicates a relationship of rest (G1722), and dunamoo, which means to enable (G1412). Paul may have been referring to the filling of the Holy Spirit which he discussed in his letter to the Ephesians. Paul talked about being strengthened with “might by his Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16) and knowing “the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19, NKJV). According to Paul, believers are filled with the Spirit when they are secure in Christ’s love (Ephesians 3:17).