If ever there was a time when a man had every right to be belligerent, frustrated, angry and confused, Paul was the man and this was the place. But Paul never said the glass is half empty, he never doubted that every circumstance he found himself in was not being orchestrated by his Savior and that the Lord would deliver him in any which way He chose.
Poet Frederick Langbridge wrote this about the different perspectives of two men in jail:
Two men looked through the bars,
One saw the mud, the other the stars.
I can excuse Paul for being frustrated with a righteous indignation that he couldn’t be there with Timothy and together refute the false teachers. Timothy’s church was under attack and that’s why the urgency of well-chosen words by Paul had to have the desired effect.
These false teachers were claiming that the resurrection had happened and that heavenly rewards were present now. The threat by these wolves in sheep’s clothing was real. John Stackhouse put it this way:
Name it and claim it, that’s what faith is all about,
You can have what you want, if you just have no doubt.
Should we be responsible for calling out false doctrine?
Should there always be an open discussion about perspectives?
Should we accept readily everything that we are told or taught?
“I am already being poured out as a drink offering” Paul even hinted in (Phil 2:17) that there was a possibility of his death sooner rather than later. In this verse he is simply equating his life with the wine being poured out on the altar in the OT of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers.
I believe that everything that Paul did was given to God. There’s no indication that he thought of himself as being executed but always thought of himself as an offering to God. Here is the difference between the glass is half empty and the glass is half full. He never said “I’m going to be put to death” but said instead that the “time of his departure is at hand,” just like boarding the train and departing the station of one city and getting off on another destination which will be for Paul the city of our God.
Peter said basically the same thing in (2 Peter 1:14), but the one thing they both agreed on is “To live is Christ to die is gain.”