“But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me.” (2 Timothy 4:17)
Paul lamented to his “son in the faith,” Timothy, that everyone had deserted him at his trial. This was probably part of a trial procedure during a second imprisonment in Rome, the one which ultimately resulted in Paul’s death by beheading. At the time of his first trial in Rome, there was not so much anti-Christian sentiment, but at the time of this second imprisonment, anti-Christian hostility was running high. Whether that was an influence or something else unstated, everyone deserted Paul; no one came to his assistance. All but One, that is.
Paul says that the Lord stood with him and strengthened him, so that he was able to sufficiently proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles during his trial.
We may not have to face a public trial for being a Christian, but believers often face life issues or relational issues that can “try the soul.” Some matters of life can lead to exasperation, frustration, and maybe even a feeling of being abandoned by everyone. In some workplaces, for example, there can be a very strong anti-Christian sentiment. In some family settings, if a believer determines to follow the Lord in a direction that causes other family members to wonder if he or she has had a mental meltdown, after they initially protest they may then reject the believer. There can at times be a big price to pay for one’s faith.
But there is some good news. Just as He did with Paul, Jesus will stand with us and strengthen us in all the life issues we must face. Just the fact that He is standing with us is itself strengthening, but beyond that through His Spirit within us He will strengthen our hearts, our minds, and our resolve, so that we may faithfully walk with Him. Trust Him to do just that for you.
Lord, We thank You that we never have to walk through any aspect of this life alone. We thank You that You stand with us, and that by Your strength we can endure. Amen.