A disappointing friendship is one area of life that causes great distress. Companionship is one of our essential needs, and when friends fail us, we feel wounded, rejected, and alone. We’ve probably all experienced this to one degree or another, and the apostle Paul was no exception.
Although he’d surrounded himself with friends and had sacrificed greatly to take the gospel throughout the Roman world, when Paul neared the end of his life, he was basically alone. As he spent his last days in prison, only Luke was with him.
Some of the apostle’s friends were ministering in other parts of the world, but others, like Demas, had deserted him. When Paul stood at his preliminary trial, no one supported him. In fact, everyone had abandoned him. To associate with Paul at this point was risky.
It would have been understandable for Paul to complain about friends who’d let him down in his time of need. But instead, he displayed a forgiving spirit by saying, “May it not be counted against them” (2 Timothy 4:16). Although betrayal or abandonment hurts, we will never heal if we yield to bitterness and resentment. Forgiveness is our only solution.
Like Paul, we need an eternal perspective when facing disappointment. Nothing comes into our life without first passing through the hands of our heavenly Father, and no experience of ours is wasted. His ways may not make sense to us, but He uses every painful situation to accomplish His will in our life—and He’ll walk through it with us.
Bible in One Year: 2 Timothy 1-4