So That . . .
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.
2 Timothy 4:17
Have you ever felt deserted, betrayed, forgotten? Twice in this short book, Paul spoke of being abandoned. In 2 Timothy 1:15, he said, everyone deserted me. In 2 Timothy 4:16, he wrote, no one came to my support. I can feel the urgency in his tone. Paul seemed to know that his end was near…that death was just around the corner in brutal form. In spite of this abandonment, he testified to God’s faithfulness: But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength (v.17).
Isn’t that beautiful? I want that! I want the confidence to know that the Lord never leaves me, he stands with me and strengthens me.
But I also want the two tiny words that follow: So That… Paul recognized that the end was not the end until God’s work was completed. God still had purpose and intent for Paul, so he strengthened him. This was a motivator, an energy-giving truth for Paul.
God doesn’t pull you through hard trials so that you can take a deep breath and say Whew! He doesn’t rescue us from peril or brokenness or devastation so that we can take a vacation and refresh/renew.
He is our liberator SO THAT we can proclaim His glory and His gospel. I’m so grateful that he doesn’t save me, put me on a shelf, and say “DONE!” He has a plan, a design, and expects me, through His Word, to be equipped for every work for which He has called me. Hallelujah!
Savior, let me walk in the truth of your strength and your presence as you send me forth to proclaim the message of Christ.