“At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me […]” (2 Timothy 4:16-17).
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Friends really are hard to come by these days. I mean real, true, and good friends. The ones who will have your back no matter what happens. The Bible says that “the righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray” (Proverbs 12:26).
The apostle Paul knew something about friends. Just read Romans 16 and see all the beloved people that he mentions to greet. Yet, when we get to Paul’s second letter to Timothy, Paul writes of how no one stood with him at his first defense before the Roman emperor. All forsook him (2 Timothy 4:16). They abandoned him when he needed it the most.
It’s reminiscent of what happened with Jesus as He was taken and tried for crimes he did not commit – a trial that would lead to His death on the cross. Recall Matthew 26:56 where “all His disciples forsook Him and fled.” When times get hard and people’s own lives are at stake because of mere association, many will flee. Even Peter denied knowing the Lord three times.
But, despite being forsaken by humans, the Bible says that there is a friend who will stick closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). God was standing right there with Jesus. And as Paul stated, the Lord stood with him and strengthened him (2 Timothy 4:17). And the Lord stands with you and me, too – strengthening us.
So, no matter who left you, who decided not to stand by your side, or who wasn’t there for you in your times of need, don’t fret over it. It really doesn’t matter because the Lord stands with you.
As the psalmist penned, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me” (Psalm 27:10). Despite who it is who doesn’t show up for you in your life in times of trouble, the Lord will take care of you. Be encouraged.
Not one of us ever stands alone.
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