“But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the proclamation might be fully made through me, and all the Gentiles might hear. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.” (2 Timothy 2:17)
Paul said that at his first defense no one came to his assistance. Everyone deserted him. He said that the Lord stood with him, though, and strengthened him and rescued him. Paul wrote this to Timothy, so undoubtedly Timothy knew exactly what Paul meant by all this. It is less clear to us, however, because we cannot know all of the particulars.
It seems that Paul was writing from prison in Rome, and that this was a second imprisonment following a fourth missionary journey. Some believe that “first defense” refers to the first imprisonment, and that Paul was released from “the lion’s mouth.” In other words, he was acquitted and released after two years under house arrest in Rome.
Paul said that at his first defense everyone left him, but the Lord stood with him and strengthened him. We may not go to prison for our faith, but we may face all sorts of “trials” in this life. We can be certain, though, that whatever trial we may face, the Lord will stand with us throughout it, and He will strengthen us. When we are weak, then we are strong. That has nothing much to do with us. It has only to do with the strength that the Lord provides. His grace is always sufficient.
Lord, We recognize that we do not have within us the strength that is needed to survive the trials of this life, but we also recognize that You stand with us throughout them. We place our trust and hope in You for victory. Amen.