2 Timothy 4:6-8
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
The Apostle Paul is preparing for his departure from this world and so he is instructing Timothy in 2 Timothy the fourth chapter in what to do after he is gone. He tells Timothy to preach, be instant in season and out of season. He tells Timothy to reprove, rebuke and exhort because the time of my departure is at hand.
Then Paul says, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness,” Paul is saying I am going to get my crown of righteousness because I have fought a good fight, finished my course and kept the faith. Paul had faithfully fellowshipped and embraced the crown of thorns and suffering that Jesus Christ had worn on this earth and therefore he was looking forward to the crown of righteousness he would receive when he arrived on the other side in glory. Paul had completed the circle of his life and had fought a good fight while keeping the faith and knew that he would now receive the crown of righteousness he would wear for all of eternity.
I wonder how many times I have rejected the crown of thorns because some person, situation or circumstance has pricked me? When I have finished my course will I be able to say, I have fought a good fight and I have kept the faith? If I embrace the humble crown of thorns on this earth then I will surely wear an exalted crown of righteousness for eternity.
James 1:12, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”