It is sad, but not surprising, that no one came to his defense. Out of fear for their own lives, they chose the easy path, not the noble one, and abandoned Paul in his time of need. Remarkably, Paul responded with grace toward them; he did not become bitter. How could this be? Paul does not leave us guessing. The truth is that he never was completely alone; Jesus was with him. In Paul’s own words, we read, “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” (2 Timothy 4:17). Jesus was true to His promise: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5b). The hardships we face in life may be small compared with those Paul experienced; nevertheless, the Lord’s presence is just as certain and just as real. He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother and will strengthen us when our strength is gone. He will cheer us up when we are down, and He will guide us when we don’t know what to do. God will never abandon his children. “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27). Knowing that God cannot lie, I rest in the thought that His word to Israel is just as true for everyone who has put his faith in Him: “Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb: And even to your old age I am he; and even to your gray hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you” (Isaiah 46:3,4).
Thank you Lord Jesus!