I wonder what it was like for Paul alone in that Roman prison at the end of his life...
2 Timothy 4:16 (NIV) At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them.
NO ONE came to my support... everyone deserted me...
I can certainly FEEL the depth of what Paul is saying. He was left entirely on his own with no support - where were the Christians from the church in Rome? How does Paul respond?May it not be held against them... What? That is the last thing I expected to hear from Pau; - No One came... Everyone deserted me... BUT Lord God please do not hold this against them. What an example of how to pray for others even those who wronged us or who have hurt us.
2 Timothy 4:17 (NIV) But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion's mouth.
NO ONE came...everyone deserted me...BUT the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength...What an amazing testimony to each of us who are struggling. This is what we must do especially when we FEEL like we are ALONE. We must remember we are NEVER ALONE. The Lord the Sovereign God of the universe is ALWAYS with us He is right there at our side. And just as Paul trusted God for His presence and strength - we too can know that the Lord WILL give us His STRENGTH if we turn to Him when we are lonely, feel abandoned, or feel full of fear and doubt.
2 Timothy 4:18 (NIV) The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
We do not know for sure - but it is possible that Paul was eventually executed at the end of this imprisonment in Rome. That is why these words are so powerful The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack... HOW? He was convinced that his future was secure he was trusting God to ...bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. Whether set free to continue to serve the Lord or being executed for the gospel Paul saw the Lord’s hand in ALL of it and was counting on the Lord to STAND by him and to give him strength.
PRAYER: Lord God - thank You that You are ALWAYS with me whether I feel alone or not YOU are there. Please Lord help me to grab onto that TRUTH and never let go. Lord when I struggle and I am tempted to focus my thoughts on myself HELP me to look to You - to Trust You - and to keep on loving and serving others.