The preacher was having a tough time. A co-worker had turned his back on the cause, on him, and most significantly on the Lord. He had dealt with opposition. He didn’t have his study resources, he desperately wanted to be out in the field working with his brothers, and…he was in prison, again! As well, he was nearing the end of his life.
If a preacher ever had “reasons” to quit, it was our brother Paul. It is highly likely that some preacher who is reading this is going through something similar to this right now. Maybe a co-worker or a friend has turned their back on you, the Church, and the Lord. Maybe it is someone you considered a friend who you would have never guessed would act this way.
Perhaps someone is opposing you right now. It might be an elder, a deacon, or some influential member of the congregation. Maybe you’re not in prison, but it is possible that someone reading this is being hindered from doing what you would like to do because of a health issue you are dealing with yourself or the health of a family member. Maybe you feel as if the end of your time on earth is drawing near.
The issue is not will we face desertion, opposition, or some other hindrance. The question is will any of these problems cause us to throw in the towel or will we like Paul, remain faithful to the end. How do you spend your time when you feel like you are in the crucible? Here’s a quick glimpse from 2 Timothy 4 showing us how Paul handled these adversities, in hopes they might help us when we need them.
In this great context we see that Paul focused on the Eternal reward, he recognized the need to keep growing in his faith, he thought about the people in his life who could support him, and he remembered the grace of God. When we are in a season of trials, we would do well to follow his example. May God bless you this week with the power to remain faithful until the end.