2 Timothy 1:15 – You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. We are most devastated when our dearest friends and associates desert us in times of trouble. It is all the more painful when we are deserted by those who have been under our ministry. They would have enjoyed a time of intense fellowship with us and benefited from our work for the Lord. We expect them to stand with us when we are engaged in tough spiritual battles and face great opposition. Apostle Paul faced such situations towards the end of his ministry. The believers of the Province of Asia Minor were the product of Paul’s ministry. But when Paul was in times of great need, they all disappeared. From a worldly sense, it would not be easy to identify with a prisoner. But it is very shocking that not even one was there to visit Paul or support him. We wonder if they even prayed for Paul at this time of severe battles. He mentioned the names of two dear people whose desertion would have deeply hurt Paul because of their intimate relationship with Paul. But even at this moment, Paul finds comfort in the Lord. Our Lord Jesus was deserted by all His disciples when He was arrested. They all ran away from Him rather than showing willing to be arrested and tried with Him. Peter volunteered to die with Jesus, but he ran away and even publicly disowned the Lord. Paul was broken hearted when deserted, but learnt the big lesson of enjoying loneliness for the Lord even when others denounce him. He reminds us that we will be often lonely as we walk the Calvary Road in following Jesus. But such experiences of loneliness and desertion should not turn us back from following Him who carried the cross and walked all the way to Calvary all alone.
Dear friend, is your heart broken because all the dear ones deserted you? When you are in trouble because of gospel, are you being isolated and rejected by those who are dear to you in the Lord and those for whom you worked hard in the Word? Remember, the way of the cross is a lonely road which our Lord walked all alone, carrying the old rugged cross which was the embodiment of shame and curse. When He walked that way all alone, He had you and me in His heart. He went through rejection and desertion because He loved us. Today He asks us to demonstrate our love to Him through the expression of our willingness to go through such rejection for Him. Apostle Paul is seen to be hurt by these desertions, but he is not down and out because of it. He kept going in the ministry with confidence in the Lord who gave him company and fellowship. He is now preparing Timothy to be willing to go through such experiences as Timothy would continue in serving the Lord. Paul prayed for all who deserted him and forgave them for ignoring him when he was in trouble. His experience speaks to us loudly about the need to stand with our fellow believers when their words are distorted and testimonies maligned by the enemy of our souls. If we are going through such experiences of loneliness, isolation and rejection by those who are dear to us in the Lord, let us be determined not to be discouraged. Let us pray for their welfare and progress in the faith. Let us comfort ourselves that we are privileged to go through rejection and desertion like Apostle Paul for the sake of our Lord. Let us praise God that He is with us even when the whole world rejects us. As we go all alone through the valleys of life, let us look unto the Lord and be encouraged rather than look around and be discouraged. Our Lord is our travel companion. He will accept us and give us fellowship and friendship even when we are rejected by others and become unwanted.Hebrews 13:13 – Let us, then, go to Him outside the camp bearing the disgrace He bore. Thought for Today As the rejected and isolated children walk alone on Calvary Road, their Lord walks with them and impart comfort and courage in their hearts.