Paul’s second letter to Timothy was written while he was on death row. The letter essentially functions as Paul’s last will and testament. Paul was concerned for the young, divided churches that would be left without his guidance in a time of great anti-Christian sentiment in the Roman empire. He knew that Timothy was a timid man and wrote to encourage him in the trying times ahead.
Paul tells Timothy that God gives us not a spirit of timidity, but one of power, love, and self-discipline. He instructs Timothy to rely on sound doctrine and resist immorality, and to above all stand firm in faith. Paul describes his trial, in which not one person came to support him or testify in his favor. He was, however, granted strength from God, the strength that would carry him through any and every tribulation, including the tribulation of his own death.