“At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted  {FORSAKEN} me. May it not be  charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened …”- {2 Timothy 4:16-18}

 “All have forsaken me” As I read these words earlier this week I felt sadness, saddened for Paul who when he stood before Nero”s court had no one, absolutely no one who would stand with him and for him in the hostile environment it surely was. Where were they when he needed someone to support him in his hour of need? “But God …”  How wonderful He is! While humanly “all,” had chosen to abandon Paul, the Lord stepped in to assure him he was not alone, for the risen Concurring Christ stood with him! I have noted several observations from the passage.


6.- THE LORD – deserves all the GLORY FOREVER AND EVER, SO BE IT!

NOTE,  the consciousness Paul had of the personal intervention and faith building assurances. A Christian never is alone…for the LORD has promised never to abandon you! (Heb13:5). Be assured not because you “feel” so, but because He has promised so! The LORD stood with him as he stood before his accusers. What a  TRUTH, not merely a thought, like a wish or a “hope-“so” but a FACT.  A PROMISE FORM GOD! The LORD Himself stood with him, right by his side. He was conscious and confident of it! Though humanly forsaken, abandoned by all human comfort and friends who could stand with him, supernaturally the LORD stood with him, as He does you. “All have forsaken {deserted} me…” 

 NOTE- Paul did not want it held against them. “… may it not be held against them.” Yet we see like His Lord upon the cross who said,”Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Or Stephen who was been stoned for his love for the LORD Jesus who asked his murderers be forgiven! And Now Paul, in that line of love and forgiveness expects the best for those who have wronged them. And here now we see, that Jesus stands with Paul and his goal is that the Gospel may be heard by those who are bound in sin, prisoners of the devil to do his will.” – { 2 Timothy  2:26 } “…that the Gentiles might hear…”  “… that is, all the Gentiles there in that court. There was Nero, or if he were absent (as some think he was at this time away on Imperial business in Greece) there was Burrus, the Prefect of the city of Rome, who acted for the Emperor in his absence. Then there were all the court officials, and besides them the general public who would crowd the place upon such an occasion. What a chance, thinks Paul, that all these shall have a full explanation of the saving message. Don’t you think it would be well if, every day of our lives, we were very definitely, and very earnestly, to ask GOD to help us to see, and to seize, opportunities?” – {Guy H.King}

Paul like Jesus, Stephen, his desire was that those who abandoned him “…would NOT be held against them.” His was a heart of forgiveness not seeking their hurt but help!

Look at the graciousness of what God had worked into his heart, the absence of vengeance, the absent of bitterness and the gift of forgiveness!

NOTE also, Paul does not mention that his desire was that The LORD might comfort him, for Paul’s goal, desire, was that The LORD strengthened him, He poured His power into him, with a purpose! That he might boldly in the face of the fierce enemies make known to them the Gospel that can save them from the wrath of God, from the power and penalty of their sins, the bondage of satan, and into a love relationship with God exclusively through Jesus Christ. Paul was their physical prisoner but he knew they were the real prisoners, spiritual prisoners, who were dead in their transgressions, shackled in sin, and the LORD infused him with strength to speak the Gospel to them!

It was the same LORD’S power that rescued the three Hebrew youths from the furnace, who delivered Daniel from the lions den, who conquered death and the grave who rescued Paul! Paul knew his time on this earth would soon be up. He looked forward to it, that the LORD would bring him safely home to His heavenly Kingdom! Paul looks ahead not with fear but a future hope of being with his LORD! Every believer has the same power available to strengthen them to testify even to their enemies of the glorious Gospel of Jesus in the circumstances they find themselves in and the same Promise of hope of a future with the LORD.

Paul knew the LORD Stood with him, not to merely comfort him but to infuse courage and strengthen him that he may stand in that vicious, hostile arena to proclaim the Gospel to those  who though are human enemies, they are spiritually captives, incapable of worshiping their Creator apart from being born again. Paul had been saved and in Acts, we read “I will show him how much he must suffer for My Name’s sake.” Here he is now, the Lord  stood next to him and being STRENGTHENED that the Gentiles, evil as they were at that point of time, murdering Christians, that they too may hear of the GOSPEL AND LOVE OF CHRIST! God will strengthen you too, to TESTIFY of Him to others! YOU NEVER STAND ALONE!

THE LORD WILL DELIVER”-  (“from rhúo = to draw, drag along the ground)  means to draw or snatch to oneself and invariably refers to a snatching from danger, evil or an enemy. This  basic idea of rescuing from danger is pictured by the use describing a soldier’s going to a wounded comrade on the battlefield and carrying him  to safety (he runs to the cry of his comrade to rescue him from the hands of the enemy).”-{preceptaustin.com.}

“THE LORD WILL BRING ME SAFELY TO HIS HEAVENLY KINGDOM –  “Will bring me safely…” the basic meaning of rescuing one from great peril. Additional nuances include to protect, keep alive, preserve life, deliver, heal, be made whole.”

HEAVENLY KINGDOM- To be with the LORD Jesus forever and ever and to Him be the glory forever and ever!
C H Spurgeon writes the  following devotional on “His heavenly kingdom, “…Yonder city of the great King is a place of active service. Ransomed spirits serve him day and night in his temple. They never cease to fulfill the good pleasure of their King. They always “rest,” so far as ease and freedom from care is concerned; and never “rest,” in the sense of indolence or inactivity. Jerusalem the golden is the place of communion with all the people of God. We shall sit with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in eternal fellowship. We shall hold  high converse with the noble host of the elect, all reigning with him  who by his love and his potent arm has brought them safely home. We shall not sing solos, but in chorus shall we praise our King. Heaven is a place of victory realized. Whenever, Christian, thou hast achieved a victory over thy lusts—whenever after hard struggling, thou hast laid a temptation dead at thy feet—thou hast in that hour a foretaste of the joy that awaits thee when the Lord shall shortly tread Satan under thy feet, and thou shalt find thyself more than conqueror through him who hath loved thee. Paradise is a place of security. When you enjoy the full assurance of faith, you have the pledge of that glorious security which shall be yours when you are a perfect citizen of the heavenly Jerusalem. O my sweet home, Jerusalem, thou happy harbour of my soul! Thanks, even now, to him whose love hath taught me to long for thee; but louder thanks in eternity, when I shall possess thee.
“My soul has tasted of the grapes, And now it longs to go  Where my dear Lord his vineyard keeps And all the clusters grow.
“Upon the true and living vine, My famish’d soul would feast, And banquet on the fruit divine, An everlasting guest.”

TO HIM BE THE GLORY FOREVER  AND EVER AMEN:  means, ” to give a proper opinion or estimation.” The glory of God expresses all God is in His being, nature, character, power and acts. He is glorified when He is seen as He really is!


A.- ENCOURAGEMENT – IN HIS CIRCUMSTANCES Paul was investing into Timothy to take up the “baton” and know hardship was involved but to continue on serving the LORD. We see Paul’s heart, he was hurting, in prison, death looming over him and yet he reaches out to invest in someone else. What love! WHAT A LORD, who can take sinful people save them and empower them that others may benefit!

B.- EVANGELISM- IN HIS CIRCUMSTANCES- THE LORD poured power into Paul that the gentiles might have the Gospel proclaimed and made known to them! The LORD’S heart is for the lost and He had Paul in those CIRCUMSTANCES that others might hear of the hope of the Gospel! In your circumstances who does the LORD have you there for?

C- DEPOSITING YOUR LIFE INTO OTHERS-  “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. “-{2 Timothy 4:2} . 4 generations mentioned here. Paul, Timothy, faithful men, teach Others…  Entrusting the message into “faithful men,” Be one and entrust your life and message into them…

YOUR LIFE CAN LIVE ON. If you were to look at Paul’s life you could come away thinking, this life was a waste or The LORD had put him on a shelf as he was beaten several times and imprisoned. If he was so important why did he keep getting imprisoned? Surely that is no way to advance the Gospel! Something must be wrong with him. We often view ” success” as devoid of hardships, or that “numbers” reveal ” God’s hand is on this ministry!” But we read “those who desire to live Godly shall SUFFER…”

Think about Timothy, what an unlikely leader he was, based on human thinking! We read he was easily intimidated, young, and frequently sick! He is to be the one to take up the ” baton?” what a load of rubbish! How can a prisoner and a frail sickly man be those whom God would use to influence multitudes of generations let alone their own? ” But God…” would take the writings of Paul which were inspired by the Holy Spirit and preserve and use in countless millions over the years to bring many to Himself and to use others to do as Paul- ENCOURAGE AND EVANGELIZE…Now its your turn in your circumstances to do likewise !

You are never alone, the LORD is always with you. Your circumstances are opportunities to have an eternal affect. Your life does count …seek to live with an eternal perspective, INVEST IN OTHERS THROUGH …Encouraging those who are already going with the Gospel and Evangelizing in the circumstances the LORD has you in. This is part of how YOU CAN LIVE AND LEAVE AN ETERNAL LEGACY …and so your life will live on long after you have entered into His Heavenly Kingdom!

{Read 2 Timothy 4:16-18}