But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen! - 2 Timothy 4:17-18
Paul realised a very sad truth. When the going gets tough we find out who really stands with us. When Jesus went to the cross his disciples fled. When Paul was facing death most of his friends and co-workers abandoned him.
In the face of all the abandonment Paul wrote these simple words.
But the Lord stood with me
The Lord strenghtened me
The Lord delivered me from the mouth of the lion
The Lord will deliver me
The Lord will preserve me
It is tough when we can't depend on man, but far too often men are going to let us down. Men are going to fail. We let others down and we fail them.
But the Lord will never let us down.
We have the same job before us that Paul did - to preach the gospel so that others will hear it. As we go about that we must remember the promise that Jesus made when He said 'I am with you always.' We are never alone because He stands by our side and gives us all the strength we need.
But I really like the thing Paul says near the end - 'He will preserve me for His heavenly kingdom.' It is not my job to preserve my eternity. It is Christ's job and He has already accomplished it for us.
Christ. who has begun a good work in us, will stick with us and preserve us until the very end.
What can we say but what Paul said - 'to Him be all the glory. Amen and amen.