Sat. Sep 26th, 2020
Thanksgiving

From Pity to Praise

But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength.

At a coat drive for children, excited kids searched gratefully for their favorite colors and proper sizes. They also gained self-esteem, an organizer said, with new coats boosting their acceptance by peers and school attendance on winter days.

The apostle Paul seemed to need a coat, as well, when he wrote Timothy, “Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas” (2 Timothy 4:13). Held in a cold Roman prison, Paul needed warmth but also companionship. “No one came to my support, but everyone deserted me,” he lamented when he faced a Roman judge (v. 16). His words pierce our hearts with the honesty of this great missionary’s pain.

Yet in these final words of Paul’s last recorded letter—his closing thoughts after an astounding ministry—he moves from pity to praise. “But the Lord stood at my side,” he adds (v. 17), and his words rally our hearts. As Paul declared, “[God] gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And he rescued me from certain death” (v. 17 nlt).

If you’re facing a crisis, lacking even the right clothing for warmth or close friends to help, remember God. He’s faithful to revive, provide, and deliver. Why? For His glory and for our purpose in His kingdom.

By:  Patricia Raybon

Reflect & Pray

In what “cold” area of your life do you need God’s great and warming strength? As you praise Him, how does your outlook change?

Our strong God, when life’s circumstances overwhelm us, stand with us, stir our praise, giving us Your strength to overcome.