“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 …” (2 Timothy 4:16,17)
How encouraged we are to have others beside us, “cheering” us on. How invigorated we are to run the race when we’re part of a multitude running together. But the Lord tests our commitment in the solitary wilderness. When no man stands with us, will we still stand? When our flesh and heart fails us, will God be the strength of our heart, and our portion for ever? (Psa. 73:26)
At the end of Paul’s life, the apostle of Christ walked the same lonely path that his Master had walked before him. All had forsaken Jesus, even His own disciples. But the Son declared that He was not alone, because the Father was with Him. (John 16:32)
Paul determined to finish his course with joy. He needed divine strength to do so. The support of men was nowhere to be found at the end of his life. But the same God who had been with him throughout his journey was faithful until the end.
And here is our hope – because our Lord is faithful to us, we can be faithful to Him. We are not strong in ourselves – we are only strong in Him. He strengthens, He delivers, He preserves – He enables us to fulfill His calling upon our life. No man, no group, no “band of brothers” surrounding us, will be the cause of our success.
To God be the glory for being the author and finisher of our faith. Without Him, we can do nothing. But through Him, we can do valiantly. We can cross the finish line and receive the crown of glory He has laid up for us in heaven.