Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Staying Connected
 Archived Pastor's Desk 2016.07.24
July 24-30
Scripture Passage: “Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.”   II Timothy 4:17
Dear Friends,
     Ministry can be very lonely. The Apostle Paul found that when everything was going well, he had friends all around. These friends enjoyed the privileges and benefits that accompanied Paul’s ministry and the influence that was associated with Paul’s name. When he was being charged and stood before Caesar, they all disappeared and wanted none of the consequences that would follow being a close associate. I do not believe that everyone deserted Paul. He had valuable allies in Timothy and Titus, but they were probably away at the time serving in places Paul had sent them. He said that Luke was with him in verse number 11. Trophimus was sick in Miletus and Paul was genuinely concerned for his well- being. Whatever Demas and Alexander had done, Paul was hurt deeply by it and seemed to be dwelling on the wrong that had been committed. There is nothing like sitting in a row boat, rowing as hard as you can, while unknowingly to you, your “friend” is behind you drilling a hole in the boat.  This was what Paul was experiencing and what every Pastor has experienced at some time in their ministry. 
     Paul knew he could not fixate on the negative. To continue to only think of his disappointments and betrayals would leave him in a state of hopelessness. So, in the very next verse he began to dwell on the faithfulness of his God. His first step out of the pit of despair was to remember that God had stood with him when everyone else had forsaken him. As he said in the book of Romans, “If God be for you, who can be against you?” He held on to the promise of God that He would never leave us nor forsake us. Stand on the promises of God for He is standing with you. Secondly, he recalled how the Lord had strengthened him. Need we be reminded that God never tires or grows weary? When we grow tired, His strength remains the same. When our battery runs down, plug into His power source. The Lord had once reminded Paul that, “My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” II Corinthians 12:9      It is when we are under our greatest load that his strength becomes so evident. Through all these hardships, the Lord had used Paul’s testimony and perseverance as a witness to the Gentiles so that the Gospel would be heard and understood by the masses. Not only had his ministry been effective, his words had contained power. Through the power of the sovereign, omnipotent God he had once again been delivered from the mouth of the lion. Caesar had delayed Paul’s execution and the great Apostle was given a little more time to evangelize the lost. The “lion” could not hurt Paul until God was finished with him. 
     I do not know what hurt and disappointment you are dealing with today. Maybe you are having a good day and everything is going well. Enjoy the day and be thankful to God. Maybe someone has broken your heart and the disappointment you feel leaves you with a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. Do not dwell on it too long for the one that really matters stands with you and strengthens you. You may not see it at the moment, but the lion tamer just entered the arena. Look up, your redemption draweth nigh. 
In Christ,
Pastor Johnny