|“A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being.” James E. Faust
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter A Henrichsen (“Walt”)
“At my first defense no one took my part; all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength to proclaim the message fully, that all the Gentiles might hear it.” II Timothy 4:16-17
Imagine yourself in a dark, musty cell, awaiting death. You have time to sit at a poorly lit table and pen a few words to your friend. What would you say? What would be your chief concern? In this letter we have a glimpse of what was uppermost in Paul’s mind; the prison is inconsequential while the message is all¬ important. He charges Timothy to be faithful in the sight of God.
Such a charge is quite predictable; you would expect Paul to admonish his son in the faith to finish the race of life well. What is exceptional is the fact that Paul makes this charge against the backdrop of one disappointment after another. “You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, and among them Phygelus and Hermogenes.”326 “Hymenaeus and Philetus have swerved from the truth by holding that the resurrection is past already. They are upsetting the faith of some.”327 “As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of corrupt mind and counterfeit faith.” 328 “Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica.” 329 “Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm.”330 “At my first defense no one took my part; all deserted me.” 331 Can you imagine a missionary sending agency sending out a person with this kind of record?
Paul charged his friend with the need to remain faithful, for results do not constitute a legitimate basis for evaluation. Rather, you must ask, “Has the Lord called me to this task and has He kept His hand on my life?” That was the encouragement Paul gave Timothy: “The Lord stood by me and gave me strength to proclaim the message fully, that all the Gentiles might hear it.”
326 Timothy 1:15
Psalm 148-150 1 Corinthians 15:29-58 (New King James Version)
1 Corinthians 15:29-58
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