Summary: No matter how well-intentioned our friends may be, there will likely be times (for one reason or another) they may not be there for us in a time of crisis or need...but God will always stand with us.
BUT THE LORD STOOD WITH ME
"At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me…also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion." II Timothy 4:16-17
I. Man is not always dependable:
"…no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them." This verse suggests that there were those who could have helped but chose not to do so. Paul harbored no animosity in his heart toward them.
1. Man may fail us because he lacks the power or strength to help us.
2. Man may fail us because he lacks the will or devotion to help us.
II. The unfailing dependability of God:
"Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6.
Paul’s declaration that the Lord stood with him and strengthened him enabled him to dismiss from his mind any resentment that he might have had toward those who had forsaken him in his hour of distress and need.
III. When God and man stand together great things result:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13.
Had the Lord not stood with them….
1. Moses could not have stood before Pharaoh and declare God’s message.
2. Neither could he have led the Israelites through the Red Sea.
3. Gideon could not have defeated the vast army of the Midianites with just 300 men.
4. David could have never faced and slew Goliath.
5. The prophet Nathan could not have been able to rebuke King David for his great sin.
6. Elijah could not have defied Jezebel and slay the prophets of Baal.
7. Stephen, while he was being stoned to death, could not have been able to lift his eyes toward heaven and pray: "Lord, do not charge them with this sin." Acts 7:60.
IV. The promise of His presence is valid for time and eternity:
"Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom."…and we join with Paul saying: "To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen! (vs 17b-18).