2 Timothy 4:17 (NKJV)
17 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
The Great Commission has been on my heart a lot lately and I hope that means one of our faithful followers is moving towards a deeper evangelistic calling. There is nothing more important than spreading the hope of Christ throughout the world. It can be a daunting task and I encourage you to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we would love to put you on our prayer list. Let’s take a look at the boldness of Paul as he continues to faithfully serve the Lord even during increasing persecution.
The Lord Stood With Me
Joshua 1:9 reminds us… (9) Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go… No matter where we go, no matter how we are serving Him, God promises to be there. Does that mean that success will be guaranteed or that everything is going to be easy? Absolutely not, but it does mean that the Lord is going to be there to see us through the struggles, through the persecution, and through the many difficulties. It is a powerful thing when we really think about the Lord standing next to us continually. What a wonderful promise.
The Lord Strengthened Me
I believe one of the most powerful verses in the Bible is Philippians 4:13… (13) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me… If we look at the previous verses in this chapter, it would appear that Paul suffered quite a bit. Not only was he facing wrath from the enemy, but it would also seem that people he once trusted have now turned their back on him. If we were left in our own strength, many of us would succumb to such pressure, but when our strength is in the Lord, it is a completely different story!
The Message Might Be Preached
2 Corinthians 5:20 offers… (20) Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God… No matter the struggles we face, no matter the persecution, no matter how difficult, we are ambassadors for Christ! God allows us to be the vessel in which His message is carried. It always amazes me that we get to play a vital part of God’s plan! If we are ambassadors for Christ, we should always be ready to give an account of the hope we have in Him.
Look at the struggle Paul is facing, the walls were closing in on him, friends have forsaken him, and yet there he is faithfully doing everything he can to spread the Gospel! Let this be a wonderful example of unshakeable faith!
Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.