2 Timothy 4:1-8
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7
At the end of 2 Timothy, Paul was looking back over his life: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:7-8 NASB).
Yet even in victory there can be a touch of sadness. In verses 9 through 18 of chapter 4, we learn that Paul was virtually alone. His life and ministry were drawing to a close. While Luke remained at his side, Paul longed for Timothy’s fellowship.
Most of us think a man of Paul’s stature would not suffer the painfulness of being left alone and forsaken by friends. Yet this appears to be what happened. Some, Demas for one, deserted Paul while others had followed Paul’s instructions and gone on to other places of ministry.
Even though he remained physically alone, he was not alone spiritually or emotionally. Jesus was his closest companion. Dark and lonely times come to everyone, but not without purpose and design. God has special blessings stored up for those who travel the road of suffering and abandonment.
Not once did Paul speak with a tone of self-pity or resentment. He understood that he was kept by the power of God’s love, especially in times of trial. he had fought a good fight and remained true to the calling of God. Now a crown of righteousness waited for him.
Lord, in the midst of suffering and abandonment, help me remain true to my calling. I want to fight a good fight!