2 Corinthians 11:25-27 (NKJV) 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—
Now for the most part, not many of us can say we have been through what the Apostle Paul has been through in his service to the LORD. Many of us don’t venture far from our safety zone, so to speak. We serve God in the luxury and safety of the church building. Yes, many of us experience conflicts, disagreements and backstabbing, but nothing like the hardship Paul endured for Christ’s sake. In some cases, Paul only survived by direct, miraculous, intervention by the LORD. Through it all, by God’s sufficiency, Paul diligently shared the gospel of Christ. Paul was determined to serve the LORD, to run a good race no matter the cost. Paul faithfully served the LORD, no matter what forms of physical discomfort and harm to his life, even until death. My friend, what trials are you facing in your service to God? Are you at the point where you want to give up? Let Paul’s dedication, commitment and faithfulness be an example for you. For Paul is now as distinguished in glory, as he was here in suffering. And you shall be likewise. For “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10 NKJV). My friend, the Word of God is offensive to many because it exposes their unrighteousness. The Word of God condemns the ungodly and brings out their hostility. But the LORD has said, “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10 NKJV). So, my friend, do not stoop to the level of those who persecute you. For “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12 NKJV). Things may be gloom now, but there will be glory later on. Let the hardships bring you into a closer loving relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My friend, through it all keep your eyes on Jesus. Through it all trust in Him. And through it all know that all is well.
God Bless and have a great day in God’s Word.