No, Never Alone
“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. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” II Timothy 4:17-18
We had a robust bus ministry at our church growing up and my dad was one who would often drive. I used to love to ride the bus with my dad, and I often sat behind him as he drove. I made many friends along the way, but I also made a few enemies. I would say I was a cocky kid and not scared to throw down if need be. I did not always start drama, but at times I welcomed it with open arms. It seemed some of the kids who rode the bus quit coming as they got older, and over a few years, I lost my friends (and some enemies).
My parents played softball almost every Saturday in the summer, and I went to all of the games. I was around 15 when I saw some familiar faces at the park I could not quite place. I had my name on the side of my hat, so I was not hard to identify. Saso is not a common name and my face is hard to forget. Two guys approached me and they seemed to be licking their chops as they looked me up and down. They said, “You’re not so tough when you’re by yourself are you?” I took a deep breath and stated, “Let's do this!” I knew it was time for me to reap what I had sown.
I got in my fighting stance and then I heard the voice of my cousin Paul and my friend Ernest. It was two against one but the tables had now turned. There were some choice words exchanged but the pair thought it now best not to pursue beating me down. They left and said, ”Your friends are always around but we will catch you some day, punk.” I am thankful that they never caught me, and I am not sure I would recognize them if I saw them today.
The apostle Paul had enemies for very different reasons as he sought to do the Lord's will in his life. He faced Nero who sought to persecute him and take his life. Paul was doing the work of the Lord and God delivered him from many who wished him harm. Paul’s time was not yet come, and God was still using him to do His work. In times of trials and great tribulations, we often forget who our high tower is. We get focused on the storm and not on our Savior. God will preserve us until the time He decides to call us home. He is our refuge and our great protector. If He was able to deliver Paul from the great Nero, than what is able to do for you?
Whom and what do you fear? Do you fear man or are you trusting in the Creator? Are you scared to proclaim His Word fearing what others may say? Has he called you to a ministry in which you are scared to take a step of faith? Has He called you to a place to which you are scared to go? The trials of life will come but we must be faithful to preach His Word. May we be faithful until He calls us home, and may we remember that we are never, never alone.
Stay in the fight!
No Never Alone
1. I’ve seen the lightning flashing, And heard the thunder roll, I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing, Trying to conquer my soul; I’ve heard the voice of my Savior, Telling me still to fight on, He promised never to leave me, Never to leave me alone.
Refrain: No, never alone, No, never alone; He promised never to leave me, Never to leave me alone.
2. The world’s fierce winds are blowing, Temptation’s sharp and keen, I have a peace in knowing My Savior stands between— He stands to shield me from danger, When earthly friends are gone, He promised never to leave me, Never to leave me alone.
3. When in affliction’s valley I’m treading the road of care, My Savior helps me to carry My cross when heavy to bear, Though all around me is darkness, Earthly joys all flown; My Savior whispers His promise, “I never will leave thee alone.”
4.He died for me on the mountain, For me they pierced His side, For me He opened the fountain, The crimson, cleansing tide; For me He’s waiting in glory, Seated upon His throne, He promised never to leave me, Never to leave me alone.