“When Jesus is all you have, you learn Jesus is all you need.”
I hope you never realize the truth of that statement. Sounds strange, right?
The reason I hope you never realize the truth of that statement is the only way you realize the truth of that statement is to lose…a lot. When you have everything and you’re on top of the world, it’s very hard to appreciate the power of the statement.
But when you feel alone, the world seems to have collapsed all around you, and darkness is closing in, then you know.
If you were ever told life as a Christian would always be smooth seas and clear skies, you were lied to. I’m sorry to tell you that.
These verses towards the end of 2 Timothy underscore the reality of life as a disciple of Jesus. Sometimes, you can do everything right and still be mistreated—even by those who claim to be Christians.
This was the case with Paul as he expresses in today’s passage, 2 Timothy 4:14-18.
14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15 You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message. 16 At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17 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. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.2 Timothy 4:14-18
New International Version
From Alexander to the Christians who deserted Paul, he was left standing for the truth of the Gospel alone.
We don’t know much about “Alexander the metalworker”, except what’s mentioned here and his association with Hymenaeus in 1 Timothy 1:20. His actions were not passive, but Alexander sought to hurt Paul. When we put Paul’s statements here alongside 1 Timothy 1:20 we find the picture of a blasphemer who has rejected the truth of Jesus and has now gone on a tirade against the message of Jesus and those bearing His Name.
Making matters worse, when other Christians were needed to defend Paul, they abandoned him. Although we’re not sure what event Paul is referring to with this new piece of information written to Timothy, it must have been a difficult season.
Yet, when the challenge of the spiritual and verbal attacks Paul endured were placed next to the Lord’s defense of Paul (verse 17), Paul still felt like he had received deliverance.
He was so overtaken with joy at the Lord’s deliverance and sustaining strength, he breaks into a song of praise!
The Apostle Paul had many moments where he learned the truth of “When Jesus is all you have, you learn Jesus is all you need.”
When we face those moments of darkness, weakness, and loss, that’s when you know. That’s when you realize “Jesus is all you need.”
And when we face those moments, we’ll praise the Lord for standing so close to us and whispering His hope into our spirits. We will break into worship as well, thanking Him for reminding us He is all we need.
And His grace is more than we could ever hope for.