Summary: Each Christian will eventually stand alone. At such times, they may be assured that they are never truly alone--the Lord is standing with them.

2 TIMOTHY 4:16-18


“At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” [1]

Does it seem to you that you’re standing alone in the conflicts of life? As society appears increasingly set in opposition to the Faith, do you find yourself feeling deserted, even lonely at times? Has the feeling of loneliness, the sense that you have been deserted, left you wondering if you’re the last follower of Christ left on the battlefield of life? Then, this message is for you.

Modern church life can sometimes leave the conscientious follower of Christ wondering who still stands firm in the battles of life. And at no time is this more the case than when you are compelled to face the foe without any evidence of fellow saints opposing the enemy. Perhaps it was at a time of physical trial. Perhaps the doctor delivered the terrifying diagnosis and was anything but compassionate when she delivered the bad news. Or perhaps it was when unexpected and crushing bills arrived, pressing you down and sucking the oxygen out of your hopes and dreams. Perhaps it is a conflict at work and there is no way you can bring others, not even your spouse, into the melee. You’re not even certain you can explain all the dynamics of what is taking place. Then, you go to church and the pastor speaks of how much God loves you, except you don’t really feel that love.

In the battles of life, you long for a respite, a break allowing breathing room; and there doesn’t seem to be any place to turn. Well-meaning friends promise to pray with you, or they may offer a few words of encouragement; but the words seem to fall flat because there is just no way they can understand. One of the worst things you heard was, “God won’t give you more than you can bear!” But you are already beyond that point and carrying more than you are capable of bearing. You’re standing alone and the foe is clearly winning. You don’t even have strength to look up, so even that possibility has been taken from you. Now what?

ALONE! ALONE AGAINST THE WORLD! “At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me.” We cannot complain when we deliberately dishonour God. We each have done such things and then complained how hard life is. We can expect pushback when we attack others or act in an unloving manner. A dog will bite when we have ignored its growl and continued provoking it nevertheless. People, also, will respond aggressively when we attack or provoke them. Similarly, we can’t disobey the will of God and expect that He will bless us.

Lynda and I ministered to a young woman who chose to live with a man without insisting that they commit to one another in marriage. Inevitably, she became pregnant. He insisted that she get an abortion. However, she was Catholic and felt it was a grave sin to take the life of the child growing within her womb. The man informed her that since she would not do “the reasonable thing,” then he had no choice but to leave her alone and destitute.

I still remember the pathetic note in her voice as she sat at our kitchen table and spoke with us. “What more could I expect? He had no commitment to me; so I really can’t complain,” she said plaintively.

This young woman would now face life alone and with the responsibility of raising a child. There would never be enough resources to do all that she wanted. She would be constantly exhausted because of the growing demands on her life. Worse yet, the child would grow up with a decided handicap in the game of life because of the mother’s choice. Though alone, she could not complain against God because she chose her own course.

However, there are yet those times when we have done the right thing and still find ourselves under assault. Such times are more common than we might imagine. At these times we will be surprised, knocked off balance and left disoriented. I want us to think about the fact that such assaults because we have done what is right are surprisingly common in the Christian life. I don’t want anyone to imbibe of the poisoned spring that asserts that Christians will never face opposition. In fact, we can anticipate opposition because we are Christians.

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