But the Lord...
I felt physically ill. I was sick to my stomach the first time I saw a girl being ganged up on after school. I was a teenager at Bennett High School in Buffalo, probably around fourteen years old. It was a normal day. I was walking home from school when I noticed a girl on the opposite side of the street being punched. First there was one girl hitting her, then two, then three, and finally, a fourth girl entered the brawl.
They were stomping on her, kicking her in the gut, pulling her hair, hitting her in the face and viciously attacking her. My heart began beating fast. I was horrified and wanted to help. I knew if I jumped into the fray I would likely be hurt, too. Two against four wasn’t much better than one against four.
Think, Dianna. I told myself. What can you do?
I wasn’t willing to stand by idly and watch. Suddenly, I got an idea. I ran as fast as I could back inside the school building and yelled, “Please help! A girl is being jumped outside.”
Quickly, a few teachers ran outdoors and asked me to point them in the right direction. In a flash, this group of adults successfully intervened and broke up the fight before the victim of the brutal assault was seriously injured.
The staff members thanked me for reporting the violence. I was happy to do it because that’s what I would want someone to do for me. All too often, when someone is in trouble, others abandon them in their time of distress. This is exactly what happened to the Apostle Paul.
In 2 Timothy 4:16, as this devout man of God was nearing the end of his life, he opened up to Timothy, telling him, “At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me.” Paul, who was persecuted for preaching the gospel was ignored in his moment of need. Those who should have been by his side weren’t. They let him suffer alone. It was a real let-down.
Aren’t you glad God isn’t like man? Isn’t it comforting to know that Jesus will never leave nor forsake you?
Though Paul lived through the sad reality of being forsaken by his so-called friends and colleagues in ministry, something he said in verse 17 stuck out for me. He said this: “But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.”
I love those first three words in this verse: But the Lord.
I’m quite sure you’ve got a “but the Lord” testimony, too. I sure do. Doctors gave up on me and said I would never get well, but the Lord stepped in and healed my body. I was molested by a neighbor at six years old and it seemed like I would be mentally, emotionally and psychologically ruined forever. But the Lord mended my broken heart and put the pieces of my life back together again.
Where would you and I be without the Lord on our side?
In this uplifting verse, Paul mentioned that God stood by Him, gave him strength and delivered him. And friend, God will do the same thing for you. What are you going through? What are you suffering with? What are you dealing with and struggling with today? Deliverance is available. God is right there.
I know there are seasons when it seems like everyone has left your side. It feels like you’re all alone in the fight. But the Lord is with you, strengthening you and bringing you out of that struggle with His mighty hand.
Don’t worry about who isn’t for you. As long as God is for you, you’ll make it. You will win. You will overcome. You will reap a harvest. You will experience God’s supernatural power open doors. You will witness His hand of favor and blessing moving in your life.
You have no need to fret and be anxious. God is right there and He will personally intervene in your circumstances. When the enemy tries to attack you and destroy you, the Lord will defend you. He will preserve you. He will lift you up. He will fight the battle for you. He will secure victory on your behalf at every turn. You can go ahead and rejoice right now, because you know the outcome already. You are a victorious overcomer because our conquering Savior has taken up your cause and made it His business to take care of you.
To remind you of God’s delivering power and presence in your life, I’m stirring the first portion of 2 Timothy 4:18 NIV into your cup of inspiration, which simply says, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, no matter what you’re facing, expect a “but the Lord” testimony. Believe that God will come to your rescue. Anticipate divine intervention and deliverance. Know without a doubt that He will break every yoke and loose every chain that binds you.
You are not forgotten, abandoned or deserted. God is there turning it all around for your benefit so that His name might be glorified in all the earth.
Now let’s pray.
God, I thank You that when the enemy attacks me and others desert me, You always defend me, take care of me, and find a way to bless me. Had it not been for You I would have been defeated a long time ago. But because of Your grace and favor, I am still standing. I praise You for being an ever-present help. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
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