Rescued!

William C. Brownson

Read: 2 Timothy 4:16-18

At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me . . . 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. (vv. 16-17)

There were other disappointments in Paul’s last days. At his first hearing, no one came to support him. On trial for his life, he had been left completely alone. How discouraging that must have been!

But, Paul goes on to say, though no cheering human face could be seen in that courtroom, the risen Christ was there. “The Lord stood by me . . .” Yes, and he was more than an observer. Paul writes that he “strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it.” That was all Paul could have wanted—to have the Spirit’s power upon him and be able to preach Christ to the Gentiles. And somehow, on that occasion, Paul had been spared. “So I was rescued,” he writes, “from the lion’s mouth.” For one last time, he saw himself snatched from the jaws of death.

That leads him to a last burst of triumphant confidence: “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom.” And so it was for Paul, and so it will be for us, to God’s glory forever! —Bill Brownson

As you pray, thank the Lord that he has promised never to leave nor to forsake you as you serve him.