Timothy was under tremendous pressure from all sides and the church at Ephesus was also a part of this stress. They probably disregarded his leadership because he was young and may have been listening to false teachers who were seeking to undermine Timothy’s doctrine. Rather than stand firm in his faith, Timothy seemed to be weakening under the attacks, but Paul wanted to be sure he did not quit. He wrote “hold fast the pattern of sound doctrine which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing [salvation] which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us” (1:13-14). Of dire concern was Timothy’s belief system (doctrine). Paul had carefully taught Timothy right doctrine, which came directly from God, and he wanted to be certain that he would not compromise his faith. Two men, Phygellus and Hermogenes, had already abandoned Paul in time of opposition and turn their back on their faith (1:15). These men may have been leaders in the church who turned their back on Paul when persecution came their way. Paul did not want Timothy to follow their example, but rather look to Onesiphorus who was a loyal co-laborer with Paul. Onesiphorus did not abandon Paul during the time of persecution, but often visited him in prison and took care of his needs (1:16-18). Through the example of Onesiphorus, Paul was trying to communicate that a person does not have to quit and can be faithful to God’s calling, even when it is not popular. You may be looking around and see very few standing for their faith and living the truth; however, you must remember that you are responsible for your life, not the life of others. People may be waiting for you to stand strong in your beliefs and not compromise with the world around you so they can follow. Be the one who remains faithful to your calling as a Christian and do not abandon the God who has saved you and given you all spiritual blessings through Christ Jesus.
Dear God, help me to stand even when no one else is doing so.