2 Tim 4:16-22
16 The first time I was put on trial, no one came to help me. Everyone deserted me. I hope they will be forgiven for it. 17 The Lord stood at my side. He gave me the strength to preach the whole message. Then all those who weren’t Jews heard it. I was saved from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will save me from every evil attack. He will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. Give him glory for ever and ever. Amen. 19 Greet Priscilla and Aquila. Greet those who live in the house of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus stayed in Corinth. I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. 21 Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus greets you. So do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers. 22 May the Lord be with your spirit. May God’s grace be with you.
This passage is written by Paul near the end of his life. He knows that he will probably be killed soon, but he is facing his end with great faith and courage. Deserted by others, he writes here that he does want it to be held against them. He knows that the Lord will rescue him, and by ‘rescue him’, he is meaning that his future is secure in heaven (typically not most people’s definition of ‘rescue’!).
How often do we limit God’s rescue to our earthly way of thinking? Sometimes the way God rescues people is by taking them to heaven. Death in Christ is not failure, it is the greatest victory. Death is not the end, it is only the beginning.
May we grow in the ability to look at things from an eternal perspective. May we speak and act like people who are sure of our future in God’s heavenly kingdom, not full of fear but full of faith.
Written by Shelley Witt