Strength for the Lonely
Loneliness is one of man's most painful and feared emotions. Many people consider isolation, disconnectedness, and abandonment excruciating—especially during periods of crisis. Because Paul knew what it felt like to be deserted, his life and letters offer encouragement for such difficult times. As we saw yesterday, the apostle was motivated by the presence of Christ. Now let's look at what fueled His courage.
First, Paul experienced the strength of God. He wrote, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13). Often, the Lord allows us to come to the end of our ability so that we see His hand. Otherwise, we'd attribute success to our own doing. For example, the apostle was facing possible death charges in court, and it must have been tempting to water down the truth in order to save his own life. But God enabled him to be forthright in proclaiming again the gospel of Jesus Christ—fearlessly, boldly, and effectively.
Second, Paul knew he was fulfilling God's will, so he didn't compromise, even in the face of death. Instead, the apostle found satisfaction, energy, and overwhelming joy because he was obedient to the call on his life. The believer's reality is bigger than the "seen"—bigger than the imminent moment. So obeying Christ is our goal and our joy.
Remember, even in painful circumstances, three truths are certain: Jesus stands with us; He strengthens us for whatever task God wants us to accomplish; and He will enable us to fulfill God's purpose till our final breath. Be comforted and encouraged by these promises of the living Lord.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
If you like Dr. Charles Stanley's radio program, TV broadcast and books, then you'll love his free, award-winning monthly magazine. It's full of informative resources that will touch your heart and invigorate your faith. Every month, In Touch magazine brings readers daily devotionals from Dr. Stanley, in-depth Bible studies, inspiring articles and insightful teaching to help strengthen your family and your relationship with God. Click below to start your free subscription to In Touch magazine.
Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.