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. (2 Corinthians 11:24-30 ESV)
Sometimes we think that being a Christian means everything will be great. Have you ever heard someone preach that you can be healthy and wealthy if you just have enough faith? This certainly wasn’t the case with Paul, an apostle. His hard life did not result from a lack of faith, but because of his very real faith. And yet, as hard as Paul’s life was, he was content. His struggles brought him to a greater dependence upon the Lord. Rather than being his bane, his struggles were his boast! You will never know what it means for God to be your refuge unless you face a storm.
Do you let difficulties in your life lead you to pray, and pray with more urgency?
When you face a struggle today, be glad and let it draw you closer to the Lord.
McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: 2 Sa 18, 2 Co 11, Ez 25, Ps 9