May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, 17 but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me…
You find out who your friends are when you have it tough, especially when your difficulties are perceived as your own fault. Paul didn’t have a good reputation in church circles (Read 2 Corinthians). There were times when everyone abandoned him at his time of need… 2 Tim 4:14-16…
Alexander the copper-smith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them!
Paul had three kinds of people in his life. Those who actively encouraged and refreshed him (Onesiphorus). Those who actively opposed and hurt him (Alexander the copper-smith). And those who didn’t do anything… and in so doing deeply hurt and disappointed him.
Onesiphorus: Deeply appreciative.
Alexander the copper-smith: Warned others of his character and conduct without defaming his character.
The Deserters: Forgave them
Oh… I forgot one who is found in 2 Tim 4:17-18…
But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom.
Thank God for those like Onesiphorus in your life… and BE one to others. Warn others about people like Alexander, knowing God will take care of them. As for deserters… forgive them. There will be a FEW (Possibly just one) who will always be there for you, no matter what. There will be those who inflict harm on you, regardless of what you do. But most people won’t help or hurt… but they don’t step up either. That’s just life… the way it is.