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Commentary » II Corinthians 11:22-II Corinthians 11:33 » Family-Times.net
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Suffering for Christ

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The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small uninhabited island. He cried out to God to save him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a rough hut and put his few possessions in it. But one … More

Suffering

Some of Paul’s religious assailants in Corinth were no doubt Jews. They hurled the charge at Paul that he was no true Hebrew. They said he had apostatized from the faith and that he could not possibly be a faithful minister of God. With this in mind, Paul proceeds to describe his own experiences and consecration to God.

First he insists that he is indeed an Israelite and a genuine minister (vv. 22-23). Then he launches into a description of his personal experiences as an apostle. To re-establish his credibility and authority he lists the trials he had endured in his service for Christ (vv. 24-25). As examples of dedication and privilege his list include dangers, pain, and pressures from all sides (v. 26-28). He is sympathetic with every struggling Christian as he emphasizes his achievements and weakness (vv. 29-31). Paul ended this narration of his sufferings by telling of his humiliating experience at Damascus, where he was  smuggled out of the city in a basket and let down over the wall (vv. 32-33).

While it is true that any traveler could have suffered these things, Paul endured them because of his love for Christ and for the Christians. We cannot help but admire the courage and devotion of the Apostle Paul. Each trial left its mark on his life, and yet he just kept moving on, serving the Lord. If the Lord places you in a position of leadership and authority, remember Paul’s kind of empathy and concern for people.

Application

The trials and hurts I experience will build character in my life, demonstrate my faith in the Lord and prepare me to further serve Him.

II Corinthians 11:22-33 (English Standard Version)

Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one--I am talking like a madman--with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.

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