At my first trial no one acted in my defense [as my advocate] or took my part or [even] stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the [Gospel] message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was delivered out of the jaws of the lion.
(2 Tim. 4:16-17, AMP)
Paul shares with Timothy the abandonment he experienced at his first court appearance in Rome. He adds, "No one came with me. Everyone abandoned me" (2Tim. 4:16a NLT). Paul stood alone, as his so called friends ran away. Those people who promised to have his back had deserted him. Have you been there? The strange thing is the apostle wasn’t angry with them. He didn't hold a grudge. Instead, he didn't want that incident to be counted against them.
Even though his friends left him standing there alone, Paul knew he wasn't all alone because the Lord stood by his side. Jesus gave Paul strength to boldly proclaim the entire message of gospel to those (Gentiles) who had never heard it before. God had rescued Paul from death, and he was confident that God would deliver him from every evil attack. And for that, Paul gave glory to God (2 Tim. 4:18).
It can be said that Believers will experience abandonment by love ones and friends. Christians are familiar with loneliness, especially when we have made up our minds to follow Christ no matter what the cost. Rejection, desertion, disappointments come with the territory; they're part of the Christian life. Even our Savior was deserted by his friends. He felt alone, misunderstood, and rejected. Jesus was a man of sorrow, familiar with grief. He had done nothing wrong, yet He bored our sins. He took our punishment, our shame, and sicknesses, and nailed all of them to the cross. This was part of God's marvelous plan of redemption (read Isaiah 53).
Since Jesus, God in the flesh, experienced hardship, so must every Believer (1 Pet. 4:1; Phil. 1:29). You and I will be forsaken. We'll be rejected, despised, and ostracized by those who don't know Christ. At times, we will walk this journey alone (physically). Like Jesus, we must bare our cross. Nevertheless, through it all, God will be with us.
My sister, are you feeling alone on your Christian journey? Feeling like everyone has abandoned you? Let me encourage you today. Though you may feel alone, like no one cares, you must know that God cares tremendously for you. It doesn't matter what it may look like, God is still faithful and loving. He's right there beside you. He's your Savior and Deliverer who will never ever abandon you.
Walk in freedom today knowing that God is always with you.
"And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
(Matt. 28:20b, NLT)
LET'S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER & IMPACT THE WORLD!
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