“But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed…” –2 Timothy 4:17 (NIV)
There is something about being in community with one another that is invigorating. Knowing that we can count on the support of family and friends gives us that boost to continue on with our goals and ambitions regardless of what may come our way. Even if we are beaten down by the storms we face, we are able to get up by the help of those who love us. But as mortal and finite human beings, we cannot always rely on the support of others. There will come times when we are completely alone in our struggles. Friends we thought we could rely on can easily become enemies, or can drift away from us with the natural passage of time. Perhaps we may find ourselves far away from the warmth of family, or maybe it has already become a distant memory. In these times of loneliness and despair, who do we turn to for strength?
Paul knew what it was like to endure persecution alone. There were moments when Paul had to bear the brunt of his enemies’ ire with little or no support from anyone else. But what gave Paul strength was not the support of fallible humans, but the fact that God was beside Him in the midst of his suffering. It was because Paul was so firmly rooted in Christ that he was boldly able to proclaim His message of restoration and hope despite the opposition he faced. Likewise, when we have allowed Christ to enter our hearts and seek to abide in Him, He will strengthen us by His Spirit to carry out the task He has called us to do. No matter the challenges or antagonism we might face, we can rest knowing that in Christ we have an eternal source of strength which can never be taken away from us, and that we have hope in the One who is unstoppable and always victorious.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.