Tuesday 18 October 2022

Bible Book:
2 Timothy

But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength. (v. 17)

2 Timothy 4:9-18 Tuesday 18 October 2022

Psalm 145


This pastoral letter from Paul to Timothy is set at a time when Paul was imprisoned in Rome (2 Timothy 1:16-17) and expecting his execution (2 Timothy 4:6). While the letter's authorship and its time of writing have been debated, this particular excerpt has very personal references to many of Paul’s associates, some of whom he expresses specific concern about, and therefore it is likely to be made from fragments of Paul’s original writing.

He is feeling isolated and vulnerable. Friends and colleagues have abandoned him. He knows what his death is likely to be. Yet when the situation appeared so grave, and despite all that has happened, he continues to express his hope and faith in a God who has stood by him and given him strength (v. 17).

Earlier Paul proudly declares that he has “fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (v. 7) There’s no doubt he had experienced many more serious incidents than others could have coped with, and elsewhere he outlined some of the traumas and difficulties he had faced in his ministry, including surviving shipwrecks, stoning, flogging, and now imprisonment (2 Corinthians 11:23-26). During any one of these episodes it would have been easy to doubt whether what he was doing was worthwhile, whether this path he was following was the right one and whether God had abandoned him. But his faith remained as strong as ever, perhaps because he had survived it all so far, saying “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack.” (v.18) He was also buoyed up by the thought of support arriving from friends, such as Timothy and Mark, and the continued presence of people such as Luke.

When we live through difficult times having people around us to provide support and encouragement can make all the difference. They may be a listening ear; offer practical help with daily tasks; or be a source of guidance and encouragement. And yet there are many who don’t have the contact with others they would like, which leaves them lonely and socially isolated and affects their physical and mental wellbeing. As we move in to a winter period that may be extremely difficult for many, we need to do as much as we can to look out for one another and by doing so demonstrate that “the Lord stood by me.” (v.17)

To Ponder:

  • Are there people you know who would benefit from a conversation or meeting? If you have time, try to phone, email or meet them.
  • We read today that Alexander the coppersmith has been in conflict with Paul. But is it ever appropriate to hope that “the Lord will pay him back for his deeds”? (v. 14)


We pray for those who defend people in court and are prepared to stand by people to seek justice.

Previous Page Monday 17 October 2022
Next Page Wednesday 19 October 2022