Everybody should learn lessons from young people. Paul told a young preacher named Timothy to be an “example of the believers…in faith” (1 Timothy 4:12) so that others could be better Christians because of Timothy’s example.
What do you think faith is? That’s a very important question for several reasons. Of course, you and I must have faith in Christ be-fore we can be baptized (Mark 16:16, Mt. 28:19-20), and the Bible says that we cannot please God unless we have faith in Him (Heb. 11:6).
Paul wanted Timothy to have a faith to which other Christians could look to for strength and encouragement. What is that faith? Is it simply believing that God exists, even though you cannot physically see Him? Is it simply believing that Jesus existed as a man, even though you were not in Palestine to see Him while He was on earth? No, it is more than that.
If you have the faith of Paul and Timothy you’ll not only believe that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit exist, but you’ll also have full confidence that God knows what’s best for you.
Samuel showed that kind of faith when he was working for Eli the High Priest in the tabernacle. Samuel believed in Eli enough to follow Eli’s instructions. Samuel believed in God enough to answer God by saying “Speak Lord, Thy servant heareth.”
Samuel believed that God wanted what was best for Him. Do you believe that God wants what’s best for you (I Timothy 2:4)?
Many people don’t have enough faith to get up and go to church services on Sunday mornings, much less get up in the middle of the night like Samuel did. Many church members in America are such poor examples in faith that if the Lord called them at 3 a.m., they might tell the Lord to come back after breakfast.
Samuel had faith in God’s perfection (whatever God told Samuel to do was good enough for Samuel). Samuel had faith in God’s people (Samuel judged them all the days of his life, 1 Samuel 7:15). Samuel had faith in God’s plan (even when God’s plan included disaster for Eli’s family, Samuel never questioned it).
The faith that Paul wanted Timothy to have motivated Timothy to live according to the principles of the Bible. Just like Timothy and Samuel, we should be examples of the believers in faith.