Monday, July 2, 2012

Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me……

 “Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:

 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

 And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.

 The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.

 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:

 Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.

 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”  II Timothy 4:9-18 KJV

We often see Paul as this super man who was never affected by anything but that is not the case.  Paul is no different from anyone of us. He gets lonely, sad, and he wants to know that his life meant something.

 He may have had no idea just how much God would use his ministry in the years to come. Paul endured so much. The impact that he had on the world was a result of his perseverance.

 Paul endured great opposition, suffering, hardship, and trials. He experienced the worst things this life can offer and he did so without ever giving up.  Paul had something to hold onto.  We see it in verses 7 and 8. He fought the good fight, he finished the race, he kept the faith, and now he was ready for his crown of righteousness.

Paul endured so much and yet, remained faithful because he found the strength to persevere.  Where do we find the strength to persevere through hardships?  The same place Paul did: faith in the Word of God.

Paul lived this life for the next one. He endured what came about here on earth and pressed on so he could get to his reward in God’s kingdom.

I tell you this: whatever pain you feel, whatever hardships come your way, whatever difficulties you face, or heartaches you feel, whatever happens in this life one thing we know: it is only temporary.

All that pain and suffering is but a fleeting moment compared to the prize that awaits us at the end of our race. We must not grow weary and lose heart because life can be hard. We must focus on things to come so that we may find the strength to endure.

Paul then mentions that there are those that will move away from us when troubles and tribulation come! Men fled from the situation! Men forsook Paul! Demas!

Some cannot take the heat! Some cannot face the fire!  Some just want to belong; some just want to feel good about themselves.

There are those who will stand AWAY from us (vs. 16)

They will stand with us until the going gets rough!

So we must remember not everyone that comes into our lives will stand with us!
 (John 6:67, 1 John 2:19)

Being in the army of God is not life in the country club.  It is a battle and there will be times you will have to stand alone.

However, there is ONE who is ALWAYS standing beside us! (Vs 17).

That word ‘notwithstanding’ is used today as the word DESPITE!

What a blessing it is to know that the Lord is standing with us!

Despite what the world says!

 Despite what the world thinks! 

Despite what the world does!

God is standing beside you and He will never leave nor forsake you.

Stay focused and keep walking!

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