At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
In these few verses of scripture we see some of the most wonderful principles of our Christian lives. The sad truth, though, is that light always shines it’s brightest in the midst of darkness. Sometimes we fail to see the light that is there for us. Sometimes we lose focus or direction, and it takes a time of darkness to turn us again to the light.
In our lives we find that there are times that things go well for us. The family may all be well and healthy, the job may be going good, the bills are paid and we are comfortable, relaxed and we are enjoying life. It doesn’t take long for us to get to the place that we are too comfortable for our own good. It is then that the devil will begin to lure us with pleasure, treasure and entertaining distractions. We can, if we are not careful, find ourselves letting our guard down. When we do this then we often find a situation that we carelessly let ourselves get into and we are forced to take a stand.
It is at such times as these that we find ourselves seemingly all alone. It is true that when the “chips are down”, so to say, men will desert us and we may find ourselves standing all alone. In all honesty, it is almost always the case that when we have to take a stand we are, by all appearances, outnumbered, if not totally alone. It is at such times as these that you find out who your friends truly are. There is an old saying that if you make five true friends in your lifetime, then you have accomplished much. It is true. As we live our lives and experience the things that life has to teach us we learn the terrible lesson that men will forsake us. Sometimes when circumstances of our lives require that we take a stand we find that even family will forsake us and leave us standing all alone. Even the community that we live in will sometimes label us a fanatic and mark us as troublemakers, giving us an unsavoury reputation.
Many times people have said, “I’m with you brother, whatever happens, I’m on your side.” Then, when the heat is on, you couldn’t find them as my pastor says, “with a search warrant.” They will most often leave you high and dry and pray that you don’t use their name so that anyone may hear. Yes, sometimes it gets dark and intimidating.
The apostle had come upon one of these times here. And he takes this opportunity to show us by example, a truth that should carry us through whatever may come our way.
“Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me,”
Praises be to God that, though we fail Him daily and often, though we forget Him at times, and His word and his Blessings, He is still here with us. He will NEVER leave us nor forsake us. It is true. We all fail God many times, yet He has never, nor shall He ever fail us. We disappoint Him often, yet He has never done anything that we should be disappointed over. As unworthy as we are, God will not cast us off nor leave us alone. Much more, God will forgive us, restore us, and strengthen us for the trials that we face. Knowing this, why do we so often fail to realize that He is with us when we need Him. We will often work ourselves to death to try and overcome a situation in our lives and the whole time the Lord is right beside us asking “Why don’t you just hand that burden to me?”
Is it really so simple?
Consider that we serve
the same God that…
… helped a little shepherd boy to kill a lion, a bear and a giant. And then two hundred Philistines when seeking the king’s daughter to wife…
…helped Samson to rend a lion, to carry off the gates of Gaza on his own back, to kill a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass, and to pull down a pagan temple with his bare hands…
…delivered Daniel from a den of lions…
… Shadrach, Meshach and Abedneggo from a burning fiery furnace…
On and on we could go with the list of others that God has been there for.
THIS SAME GOD IS WITH US!!!
He will give us the wisdom, the courage and the ability to do whatever He has led us to do.
We find it so easy to believe that God is blessing us when things are going well for us, it is easy to give Him the Glory when we are happy. Why do we find it so hard to believe that He is still there when things are not going so good?
Paul reminds us in these verses that God has not forsaken us and will help us to do the work that He gives us to do. And that for His own honor and glory.
“And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom.”