Paul felt deserted by everyone but God. (2 Timothy 4:9-18)
Throughout Paul’s ministry, he suffered trials and persecution for the sake of Christ. He was stoned, beaten, imprisoned, shipwrecked, and betrayed. He often went without food, sleep, and shelter. During his Roman imprisonment, he also felt alone with no other person to support or defend him. Demas left him because he loved the world. Alexander did him “a great deal of harm.” But through it all, the Lord stood with him, comforted and strengthened by God’s mighty presence.
There are so many things that not recorded in Scripture. If we could sit down with Paul, perhaps he would recount all the Gospel victories and tell me more about the suffering he endured for the name of Christ. Pain and struggle may have marked his life, but God’s mercy and grace sustained him every moment.
Paul’s life stands as a testimony to God’s power and grace working in the lives of His people to carry out His purposes.
Paul’s last written words, in his second letter to Timothy, reveal the reality of God’s strength made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9):
“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8, NIV)