In 2 Corinthians 11 we read about some of the various things that Paul, as God’s ambassador had to face. It is overwhelming! Take a look at verses 24-27:
“Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.
Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked. I spent a night and a day in the open sea. I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” (NIV)
And, we think WE have it rough? My goodness! Paul did not quit; he did not throw his hands up in the air and say “enough!” He did pray, asking God to remove the one thing (and we are not told clearly what that one thing was) that repeatedly attacked him to be removed. God allowed Paul to face these things, to suffer, feel lack, hunger, taste the verge of death, cold, pain, etc. yet He also allowed him to have a glimpse of Heaven. (see 2 Corinthians 12 1-4) We can only imagine that this vision – along with the incredible initial encounter he had with Jesus on the road to Damascus – was enough to keep him on track; working through the hardships, pain and trials.
Now, most of us have not had a powerful vision like Paul; nor have we had a lightening flash, face-to-face encounter with Jesus like Paul; nor have we had to face the drastic trials that he did. But, we, like Paul, can rely upon God’s response to Paul’s prayer . . .”My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
(c) KLH 4Given Ministries