(1-8) Ministers have a solemn responsibility before God to preach and to teach the Word. Unfortunately, this will get harder and harder in the last days, because many won’t want to hear the truth. Timothy needs to continue to be faithful, because Paul isn’t going to be around to help and encourage him anymore. Paul is convinced that he will receive the crown of righteousness from Jesus Himself, but so will all who love His appearing!
(9-15) Paul reiterates how alone he is, and how much a visit from Timothy will mean to him. He asks Mark to come too, which reveals to us the importance of reconciliation in our relationships (Acts 15:37-41). Having that type of conciliatory spirit shouldn’t make us naive, however. Some people show themselves to be antagonistic (Alexander), and we need to take that into account when dealing with them. However, it’s God who is responsible for vengeance, not us!
(16-22) Paul reminds us that God will strengthen us in the midst of disappointment and persecution, and will watch over us until the end. We can actually think of his words here as an appropriate doxology for the end of each day: “May You deliver me from every evil deed and bring me safely into Your heavenly kingdom. To You be glory for ever and ever! Amen.”