When People Get You Down
“At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (2 Timothy 4:16-18)
Sometimes people can disappoint you, oppose you and sometimes even desert you. Just because this happens doesn’t mean that God is absent or that God doesn’t care or that we should give up trying to serve others in the Lord. Sometimes we can act surprised by these things and we can get so down about them that we want to just quit. We take it so personal that we question God or we question whether we should be in the ministry. Some may even question their calling to ministry. Sometimes we say things like, “Where did I go wrong” and we blame ourselves. If we are not careful we can allow the foolishness of others to drag us down and away from God. All these things happened to the Apostle Paul. People (Christians) disappointed him, opposed him, persecuted and even deserted him. You know what that tells me? It tells me that it can happen to me. It can happen to all of us. Like Paul, we must learn to give it to the Lord and to forgive. If we don’t, the people that hurt us will keep on hurting us. We can’t allow the actions of others to rob us of our joy and make us bitter. “Bitterness is the poison we drink hoping that somebody else would die.” Life has a way of quickly bringing us down.
Notice that Paul wrote, “At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them!” This means that at Paul’s first hearing before the Roman court for preaching the gospel, no one was their to support him. All forsook him. But Paul didn’t allow this to affect his heart to the point of becoming resentful or wanting to give up. In fact he prayed that God would not hold it against them.
How was Paul able to keep all these difficulties from getting him down? The answer is in verse 17:
“But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.” (2 Timothy 4:16, 17).
No matter what we’re facing, no matter if everyone around us forsakes us, whatever uncertainties may lie ahead, know that the Lord will stand with us. He will strengthen us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Have you been disappointed? Are you being opposed? Maybe you feel alone. If that’s you today, stand on the promises of God:
“fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
©2014 Marco David. Originally posted at marcoadavid.blogspot.com