The Apostle Paul suffered many things in his quest to get the gospel out to the whole world. 2 Cor. 11:24-28 says:
“Five times from the Jews I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked. I have spent a night and a day in the deep. I have been in travels often; in dangers from waters; in dangers from robbers; in dangers from my race; in dangers from the heathen; in dangers in the city; in dangers in the wilderness; in dangers on the sea; in dangers among false brothers. I have been in hardship and toil; often in watchings; in hunger and thirst; often in fastings; in cold and nakedness; besides the things outside conspiring against me daily, the care of all the churches.”
We all suffer many trials and tribulations as we make our way through this life but look at all the hardship our beloved Apostle suffered all for the cause of Christ. If we suffer from health issues, or financial troubles, or anything else that may come our way, we must not lose heart, but continue on in living our lives for Christ and the gospel. Anything we might suffer will surely seem slight compared to the suffering of those we read about in the scriptures that suffered simply because they were trying to live their lives for God.
Hebrews 11, often called “the Faith” chapter tells of men who in the old testament lived and endured great things through faith. Verses 36 through 38 tells how many suffered for the faith. It reads:
“And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings; yes, more, of bonds and imprisonments. They were stoned, they were sawed in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains and dens and caves of the earth.”
We could turn to the book of Acts to read how Peter and the other Apostles suffered as they got the good news out to the world that badly needed Christ. Most of all, though we should think of how Christ suffered for the sins of the entire world. He went to the cross after living a perfect life and was in torment for hours while slowly dying. And he was God in the flesh. We must patiently endure any suffering and hardship and even rejoice should we suffer for the cause of Christ.
1 Pet 2:19-25 says:
“For this is a grace, if for conscience toward God anyone endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it if you patiently endure while sinning and being buffeted? But if you suffer while doing good, and patiently endure, this is a grace from God. For you were not called to this? For Christ also suffered on our behalf, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps, He who did no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth, who when He was reviled did not revile in return. When He suffered, He did not threaten, but gave Himself up to Him who judges righteously. He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that dying to sins, we might live to righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray, but now you are turned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
Christ suffered as our example of how we should endure suffering and tribulation in our lives. Isaiah 53 tells us that he suffered not opening His mouth to defend Himself, but instead patiently endured the cross knowing it was the will of God that He suffer these things. Whether specific trials or tribulations are inherently the will of God that we suffer them or not I cannot say, but I believe that it is the will of God that we do suffer some trials in life so that we may learn patience and endurance and that we may turn to Him who alone can give us the comfort we need to overcome.
Heb 10:36-39 says:
“For you have need of patience, so that after you have done the will of God you might receive the promise. For “yet a little while, and He who shall come will come and will not delay.” Now, “the Just shall live by faith. But if he draws back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those withdrawing to destruction, but of those who believe to the preserving of the soul.”
So we must all endure with patience (some versions use the word endurance) whatever comes our way and do the will of God in everything that we do. If we can endure to the end, and the time will be short whether the Lord comes first or we reach the end of lives, we will receive the promise of a glorious life in heaven where the things that trouble us in this life will be no more.
May God Bless and Keep you until next time.