“19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24 And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.” Philippians 2.19-23
In light of the horrific school shooting this week in Uvalde, TX, I want to share with you this passage of Philippians and the hope we find within the Lord. Even in the midst of tragedy, God is still good.
As you know, many children were killed this week by a crazed 18 year old with a weapon. God knows what demons were filling this young mans brain. I can blame demonic oppression over mental health or the gun held in his hands. I blame extreme violence on video games where our young boys, and even girls, kill without emotion or regard for human life. I blame violence in movies and on television screens. That which what was once unthinkable has now become plausible and the normative. And I mourn deeply for the loss of 19 elementary school children, and two adults, who were killed so senselessly.
It’s in this vain that I read Philippians and find immediate comfort in the words of Paul, ”I hope in the Lord….” Hope…in the Lord. Now Paul is hoping in the Lord Jesus in the sending of his partner in ministry Timothy to the fledgeling church. Paul is ”cheered” after hearing the news about the happenings in Philippi. Timothy, according to Paul, is unique because “He will show genuine concern for your welfare.” And even though most show concern only for themselves, Timothy in v.21, looks out for the interests of others, just like Jesus. Timothy has been serving alongside Paul in the work of the gospel, and because of his faithfulness and encouragement, Timothy is being sent. Even as Paul hopes to also come to the church.
Today, my friends, we need a Timothy to come and visit us. We need someone to offer hope, encouragement and to remind us that God has not abandoned his people. We need some cheerleaders to enter into our midst and to bring love even when surrounded by so much death and evil.
You can be a Timothy to someone this very day. In the midst of pain you can bring hope as you look out to the interests of others around you. Take on the nature of Christ, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and help deliver hope desperately in need of mercy, grace and love.
“O Lord God, you are good. Thank you for loving me. Even when the world seems to be falling a part, you are present. Come Holy Spirit, inspire your people to proclaim your name, to bring encouragement to the hurting and deliverance to the lost. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen