Sermon: Never Alone in Suffering: Protected by God’s Sustaining Grace 2 Timothy 2:1 -- By: Bill Haynes

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 04:2 (Summer 2000)
Article: Sermon: Never Alone in Suffering: Protected by God’s Sustaining Grace 2 Timothy 2:1
Author: Bill Haynes

Sermon: Never Alone in Suffering:
Protected by God’s Sustaining Grace
2 Timothy 2:1

Bill Haynes

Bill Haynes has been in pastoral ministry since 1973 and has been the senior pastor of four churches. He received his M.Div. from Southwestern Theological Seminary and is working on a doctoral degree at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. Reverend Haynes is currently the pastor of First Baptist, Sweetwater in Longwood, Florida. All biblical quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible unless otherwise indicated.


In July of 1975, Paul Little wrote an article for Moody Monthly entitled “The God Who Never Lets Things Just Happen.” At the time he was at the height of his ministry, serving as professor of evangelism at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and helping many college students understand the Christian faith better through his books. One month after the publication of this article Paul Little was killed. Little was the victim of an automobile accident when a car crossed the median of the highway and hit his Volkswagen beetle head-on.

“Surely God had nothing to do with this tragedy,” some insist. “Surely this was a freak accident that God would have stopped had He been able to do so.” It is instructive to note the final statement that Paul Little makes in his article, “Nothing happens by accident. And we can rest with confidence in that.”

Two years later, Marie Little, Paul’s wife, was asked to write an article for Moody Monthly dealing with her husband’s death. She chose as the title, “When My Husband Died.” In this article she showed confidence that God was not caught off guard. Even though we cannot always understand His purpose and plans, we can rest in the confidence that He indeed has one and that it is being worked out for our good.

God’s Word is filled with promises and examples of His providential care for His people. God’s people are not without heartache and pain, not without severe suffering at times, but they are also not without His presence, comfort, and care. The Apostle Paul is a prime example of one who suffered greatly but never lost sight of God’s nearness and protection in his life.

The Command

In his second epistle to Timothy, the Apostle Paul calls on Timothy to face the suffering that will come as an athlete, a soldier, and hard working farmer. He speaks of being wrongly imprisoned for preaching the gospel and of being abandoned by many he thought would stand with him. Indeed, he says, “all in Asia have abandoned me.” He tells Timothy that he should expect no less. With one simple command, Paul points Timothy to the source that will enable him to keep...

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