These words are real, raw and tender. Paul is about to close his last letter. He will soon breathe his last as he will be executed for the faith.
He writes to Timothy to be diligent to come to him quickly (2 Tim 4:9). Paul longed to see his young prodigy. One last meeting this side of Heaven. Did Timothy make it in time? The Bible doesn’t tell us.
It breaks my heart as Paul asks for his cloak (2 Tim 4:13)and for Timothy to come before winter. I can imagine the old saint shivering in the cold, dark prison.
Paul’s last letter describes those who have betrayed him. He warns Timothy to be on guard. (2 Tim 4:10-16)
My mind can’t help but think about those who have let me down and circumstances that have disappointed me.
I heard a pastor recently say, “it’s one thing to be disappointed, it’s entirely another to be disappointed without God.”
Of course Paul, in his flesh, must have wished for an easier way, but in all that happened, in the hurt and in the hard, he kept seeking the Lord.
In this last letter, Paul wrote to ask for his parchments and books (2 Tim 4:13). In the midst of it all, the one God used to write so much of the New Testament, longed to continue to read the word of God (the Old Testament parchments).
To the very end, in the disappointment and the pain, Paul continued to seek comfort in the truth from God’s Word and in God, Himself. Don’t miss that.
As the old saint prepares to lay down his pen, as he sat shivering in that cold, dark prison those thousands of years ago, he writes these words that should go straight to our hearts and encourage us no matter what may come our way. They are some of the dearest words to me in all the Bible—“But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. (2 Tim 4:17)
“But the Lord stood with me.”
In all that comes at us, may we remember what Paul remembered, “But the Lord!”
He will stand with us and strengthen us.
Yes, others will let us down, circumstances may be hard, but God has not and never will let His children down.
These words are meant to be made personal.
“But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me.” (Oh, how He has done this is my life! 🙌🏻)
Oh child of the King, God will stand with YOU and strengthen YOU!
Paul knew this life was not all there is. And God was with him in such a real way that though others let him down, it was enough. More than enough.
And that same God promises this same presence to all His children.
“He will never leave you or forsake you” (Deut 31:6)
He will stand with you, and He will strengthen you!
What a Savior!
Thank you to all of you who have studied these Holy Words with me! To God be the glory!