Suffering For Christ

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Suffering For Christ

 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

 

22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. (2 Corinthians 11:22-23 NKJV)


Before his conversion, Paul caused others to suffer greatly but ever since he became a Christian he suffered so much for Christ's name (Acts 9:16). 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 lists some of the sufferings Paul went through, however it was not a complete list, because when we study 2 Corinthians 4 and the book of Acts, we will find more of his sufferings. And yet in 2 Corinthians 11:28 despite all the sufferings he endured, Paul said, “besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.

 

Despite all the sufferings that came upon him daily, Paul expressed his deep concern over all the churches. Paul was totally sold out for Christ, Christ was everything in his life. Therefore, he could boldly say in Galatians 2:20 (NKJV), "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."  Paul was able to crucify his flesh with Christ on the cross, so he could live according to the Sprit that led him to life.

 

Did Paul pray about his sufferings? My guess, he did, because the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV), “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”  Was Paul upset with the answer the Lord gave him? No, not at all because in verse 9b he said, "Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."  How could it ever be possible despite all the sufferings he endured, he remained faithful all the way to the end? Where did he get all the strength to endure all the pain both physically and mentally as His Apostle?

 

The answer is, Paul was grateful for what Christ did for him on the cross and by choice, he surrendered himself to Christ and called himself a bondservant of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:1). Please read my article about "A Bondservant Of Jesus Christ" posted on Thursday, January 26, 2017. No doubt at all that God through His Holy Spirit granted him "iron and power" in his soul. Paul was definitely one of the most humble servants of God with the spirit of humility in him that enabled God to use him as a tool in His mighty hand to reach out to both Gentiles and Jews. Amen!

 

Harry Lee

Pastor

Restoration Christian Church

1900 South Santa Anita Ave.

Arcadia, CA 91006

www.rccla.org