When You Are Standing Alone

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2 Timothy 4:16 “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.”

It is easy for those serving the LORD to think that they are standing alone because of the casualties you see around you. Paul was no different than us. Even Elijah fell for this mindset after his great battle with the false prophets of Baal. Any believer who is busy serving the LORD can sometimes wonder where everyone is and what has happened to those who used to stand for truth. People forsaking the walk with God is not a new thing. When Jesus was led to be crucified, all of his disciples forsook Him. Why do we think it will be different for us? Paul’s life gives us a view of the different types of people who will forsake us and why they chose to go a different way.

First, some will leave because of a love for the world. Verse 10 says, “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world…” Demas was one who used to stand with Paul. Paul said in Colossians 4:14, “Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.” As you can see, Demas was one who used to be heavily involved in serving the Lord. He was so heavily involved that when Paul wrote to the church of Colosse that he asked Paul to greet the church for him. I’m sure it hurt when Demas left, but good people will often fall for the lure of the world.

Second, some will leave because they are evil. Verse 14 says, “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil…” There will be some who turn on the old paths and become your greatest critic. These evil people will critique everything you do and say and will also say evil things about you. It is never easy when these people leave you, but it will be part of the ministry.

Third, there are some who leave to go to other ministries. Verse 12 says, “And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.” Some will leave for other ministries on good terms, and some will leave on bad terms, but you are going to lose people to other ministries. It really doesn't matter how you lose people; it always hurts when people leave your ministry, and they leave you feeling that you are standing alone. Let me share three thoughts with you about what you should do when people leave you.

First, don’t be spiteful when they leave you; they might want to come back one day. Always talk about the good of people to your best ability. Even those who criticize you are good people; they have just been broken by sin. If you don't destroy those who leave you under adverse conditions, it will always give them an open door to come back because of your good treatment towards them.

Second, pray for them to come back. Nothing will help those to come back who have left for the wrong reasons like prayer. It is always better to pray for those who have left you for the wrong reason than to become evil and criticize them. Prayer will do more to help them and you than any criticism will ever do.

Third, don’t become discouraged when you feel you are standing alone. Paul reminded himself after he thought that he was standing alone, “Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me…” My friend, when you feel like you are standing alone, you are never alone because the Lord always stands with you despite others’ criticisms or despite your actions.

Dr. Allen Domelle


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