2 Timothy 4:18
“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
The apostle Paul and Christians of his time faced dreadful persecution by the powerful Roman empire. Nero, the emperor, was a fearsome opponent of the Christians. No one would dare to show support for Christians, when they were hurled away to stand before Nero and his officers. Paul himself had that kind of encounter, where “At my first answer (before the king) no man stood with me, but all men forsook me” (2 Timothy 4:16a).
However, Paul took comfort in that “the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear” (2 Timothy 4:17). Paul also wrote in the same verse, that “I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.” The Lord who delivered Daniel of old from the mouth of lions (cf. Daniel 6), also delivered Paul from a similar occasion of near cruel, violent death.
More than the beast of a lion, the greatest threat for Paul and all believers is our “adversary the devil,” who “as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Though the devil would try by all his might to stop us from God’s heavenly kingdom, the Lord shall deliver us from all such satanic, evil attempts. Truly, each of us can be confident like Paul – “the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”