15 You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. 18 May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus. 2 Timothy 1:15-18
In times of need, we expect a lot from people. But we know that people will often fail to meet our expectations. In fact, we may easily become discouraged when people seem to abandon or desert us in times of need. We may feel betrayed. We may feel sorry for ourselves, and engage in our own “pity party”. But how should we respond to people when we are in need? We must be ready for discouragement from many people, especially when we feel that they have deserted us in our time of need (v.15). We must be thankful for any kind of encouragement, even if it comes from only a few people (vv.16-18). In times of need, we are very vulnerable. We are very sensitive to how people respond to our cries for help. But we must be ready for something that is part of this fallen world — indifference from many people. Many people may actually just go the other way or pretend that they do not see, even as our suffering becomes known to them. They may seem unconcerned and uncaring. This is to be expected because people are naturally self-centered and worldly. But God, in His mercy, may send someone or a few people to encourage us in our time of need. We must be thankful for that, for it is by God’s grace alone that such people have come to encourage us. Remember: encouragement from someone makes up for all the discouragement we may experience from everyone. At the same time, let us encourage someone, even if we may not be able to encourage everyone. This same principle applies to us as we respond to others who are in need. Remember: Encouragement from someone makes up for all the discouragement we may experience from everyone.