It is so easy to become afraid, and so easy to explain away our fear (we are afraid to say we were afraid!). Paul strongly encourages Timothy to stand strong, and not be afraid of being bold for Christ. There are many who have deserted Paul because he is in prison – Timothy doesn’t, and later Timothy even winds up being arrested for his faith (Heb 13:23).
We can stand up for Christ – because He is stronger, and makes us stronger. We can stand up for the truth – even when people do not want to hear what God and the Bible have to say. We can tell people we are Christians, and invite them to church, and share the hope we have in Christ – we do not need to be ashamed.
Paul, at the end of his life, is not ashamed to be a prisoner for Christ. We do not have to be ashamed of the one who carried our shame on the cross – and lives with us today.
8So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. 9For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. 10And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News. 11And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News.
12That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to hima until the day of his return.
13Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. 14Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.
15As you know, everyone from the province of Asia has deserted me—even Phygelus and Hermogenes.
16May the Lord show special kindness to Onesiphorus and all his family because he often visited and encouraged me. He was never ashamed of me because I was in chains. 17When he came to Rome, he searched everywhere until he found me. 18May the Lord show him special kindness on the day of Christ’s return. And you know very well how helpful he was in Ephesus.