17 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. 18 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.
In the final verses of the epistle of 2 Timothy we read about Paul’s adversity and God’s faithfulness. Based on verse 6 it seems that Paul had good reason to believe his execution was imminent, hence the emphasis of haste on Timothy’s part. This need was intensified when Demas (someone whom Paul invested in) abandoned Paul to embrace the safety, freedom and comfort of Thessalonica. We also read that Alexander (v.14) had done a great deal of harm to Paul by opposing the gospel (and by implication shedding doubt on Paul and what he preached). The extend of this harm was so severe that Paul felt it necessary to warn Timothy. And to top it all off, we read in verse 16, that the current trial Paul was facing (he’s first defence) he had no support, unlike his first imprisonment. This was most likely because being a Christian in Rome at that time was very dangerous.
Based on these verses we can see Paul experienced abandonment, loneliness, opposition to what he dedicated his life to (namely proclaiming the gospel) and facing execution. But despite all this, we see in verses 17 and 18 how Paul speaks of God’s faithfulness and deliverance during his hardships (v.17) and at the same time be reminded of his eternal hope he enjoys in Christ (v.18). Paul concludes this epistle by declaring ‘To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.’ My prayer is that we too, like Paul, will experience amid our hardships and difficulties God’s faithfulness and deliverance and join him in his exultation by declaring ‘To him be glory forever and ever. Amen’.
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage
- How will you respond/apply God’s Word today?
- Whom will you share with today’s passage or takeaway?
Think of another person in your life who needs God to move in their situation. Ask for God to be at work. Approach the Lord of all with boldness today, knowing that he delights in you, and those you love.