from Lynda Lindsey
At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory or ever and ever. Amen. II Timothy 4:16-18
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46:7; 11
Paul, deserted, mostly alone, with no one to speak in his defense, facing imminent death under the Emperor Nero, still tenaciously offers praises to God...the only wise God who never leaves or forsakes His own. What a powerful example of steadfast love and devotion to God! Paul’s unshakable faith in God corresponds to the unshakable faith of the author of Psalm 46. This Psalm, possibly written as Assyria is invading Jerusalem, magnificently portrays God as our refuge, strength, an ever-present help in time of trouble.
Often we run in circles, trying this thing or that, adopting this new idea or that one, desperately seeking to alleviate pain, hardship, and life’s difficulties. One of the hardest, yet most necessary disciplines, is to learn stillness. To deliberately be still, quiet our hearts, and trust God; to know that God is God. Paul had mastered stillness, as his ringing testimony to the Philippians shows, “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:20-21)
A discipline is mastered by practice; every event in our lives is an opportunity to practice stillness, to know that God is God. See God’s works. Exalt and praise Him, for He is with us, at our side, strengthening, upholding and rescuing us from every evil. He is within us. God is ever present. He is our eternal Helper; we need not fear, no matter what comes. He brings peace...internal peace now and eternal peace in the world to come. People may be fickle; God is constant. Steady. Sure. Don’t be afraid. Trust in our trustworthy God, for a crown of righteousness awaits!