Suffering For Christ

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)


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