Attacks come in all sizes, shapes and colours against God’s servants. I’ve traveled to other parts of our troubled world and met firsthand leaders who have suffered.
The ‘persecuted church’ is too often forgotten by those for whom ‘evil attack’ may just be a topic for blogging, preaching or discussing.
In 2 Timothy 4:16-18, Paul recounts to Timothy his personal experience of suffering.
“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
Attacked. Alone. Strengthened. Safe. Paul’s testimony in 4 words.
Paul had to give a defense. He had been charged and was prosecuted by the state. Other Christians kept their distance, perhaps fearing reprisals. Paul pleads for their forgiveness.
But the Lord… His conduct was so different. His presence was real, even palpable to the suffering saint. The Lord strengthened and stabilized Paul through the entire process, just as he stabilizes all sufferers. He does not make the suffering stop but we are safe with him now and forever.
God does not abandon his children. Let’s take comfort today in our Shield and Defender. He is worthy of our total praise through our total life for His total plan of providing sustaining grace.
‘When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the hopeless, O abide with me!”