But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry. – 2 Timothy 4.5
It was important that Timothy know the truth. It wasn't a time for false hopes or painting a rosy picture of the future. There was no 'prosperity gospel' to be offered. Things were tough and they were going to get tougher. I think both Paul and Timothy knew that the time was short for Paul. I don't think the next words were any surprise.
So what does Paul tell Timothy to do?
Do the work on an evangelist
Complete your ministry
I think it is pretty clear that the road Paul is describing is not going to be easy. The very idea that Timothy is told that he must endure indicates that there is going to be something that requires endurance and that inplies it is something that is going to be negative.
So while we are enduring whatever comes our way we have a couple of things we need to keep doing. We need to keep evangelising the world around with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We don't just sit back grit our teeth, and endure - we stay busy while we endure.
How long do we endure? Till we complete the ministry God gives us - and that ministry that all of us have is the ministry of reconciling men to God.
Don't give up. Stay at it. Endure hardness, even as a good soldier.
One day it will be woth it all.