"Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia."

Look at what Job said when he went through his testing in Job 19:13-17,

"He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me. My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me. They that dwell in mine house, and my maids, count me for a stranger: I am an alien in their sight. I called my servant, and he gave me no answer; I intreated him with my mouth. My breath is strange to my wife, though I intreated for the children's sake of mine own body."

Jesus was forsaken. After teaching in Capernaum that He was the living bread of life in the Gospel of John look what happened in verses 60-67,

"Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?"

Paul was telling Timothy that there are going to be times in your life when it seems like everyone is leaving you and forsaking you, but you have to finish your course!

#2) When you are forsaken, The Lord will be with you and He will strengthen you.

Look at verses 16-18,

"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. 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."

David wrote in Psalm 27:1,

"The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"

Did you ever feel like you are alone? Fear not. The Lord is right there to strengthen you and encourage you.

The Lord came to Elijah after a great victory over the 450 false prophets of Baal. And Elijah heard that Jezebel was coming after him and he went and hid under a juniper tree and sulked. Elijah felt like he was the only one doing something for God. God came to him and said, "Elijah I have 7,000 in Israel who haven’t bended the knee."

God strengthened Paul, He strengthened Elijah, He strengthened David, and He will strengthen you as well.

Don’t pout and don’t ever feel sorry for yourself because we serve a God who specializes in strengthening His servants.

#3) When you’ve been forsaken and then strengthened, Keep on serving the Lord!

Look at verses 16 & 17 of II Timothy chapter four,

"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. 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:"

Paul was chosen by God to be the Apostle to the Gentiles. In Acts 9:15 the Lord spoke directly to a man named Ananias who was to take Paul in and help him right after his Damascus road conversion. God tell Ananias,

"he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:"

You know that God has chosen you and I and has ordained us to bear fruit. In John 15:16 Jesus puts it like this,

"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain."

How is your soul winning going? How many people have you had the opportunity to share the gospel with this month, this week, or this year?

Paul was near the end of his life and had suffered many physical hardships and many times was left for dead. God gave him a thorn in the flesh to keep him humble and to show him that His grace is sufficient. And now Paul is nearing the end of his physical life and while he is in a Roman jail, he is still thinking about preaching and sharing the gospel with a few more Gentiles. What an amazing example for us to look up to and emulate!

Paul never tired of sharing his testimony and persuading all he came in contact with to trust Christ. He had the compassionate heart of the Lord Jesus and loved the souls of people. I always love to read about Paul’s last trip to Ephesus and his last good byes with the believers there.

Look for a moment at Acts 20:17-38,

"And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him, Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship."

Paul was going to serve the Lord until he took his last breath. No quitting for him, no retiring for him, no bitterness in his heart, he just wanted to see souls saved and wanted to finish his course without stopping short or getting derailed. We need to be like Paul.