The Sufferings of Paul Didn’t Stop Him…

Have you ever noticed how many people are willing to just give up when they face even the slightest hardship? This same attitude is pervasive in the church today. There are those who almost seek reasons to skip the worship assembly. If it is raining, they won’t go. If there is family visiting, they won’t go. If it is night-time, they won’t go (even though there are people who would gladly pick them up and bring them). If they have a sniffle, they won’t go. How about looking at what the apostle Paul endured, and then see if you really have an excuse.

The apostle to the Gentiles listed just a sampling of the hardships he endured in II Corinthians 11. He was beaten so many times that he had lost count (verse 23). He was thrown in prison often because of his faith. He was in danger of death from the time he first became a Christian, and it was a constant threat (see Acts 14:19-20). He was beaten with whips 195 times (II Corinthians 11:24). He was stoned, left for dead. He was in perils everywhere he went: in the cities, in the wilderness, in the sea, and among false brethren. Yet, after suffering through all of those things (and many more not mentioned) he still went about preaching the word of God.

Paul wouldn’t let being publicly beaten keep him from worshiping God, yet many brethren today think a sniffle is a viable excuse to God. Paul made it a point to worship with the saints wherever he went, even if it meant the possibility of being stoned to death; yet many brethren think God will overlook their skipping services because they have family over and “have to” entertain them. Those with that attitude don’t understand Romans 8:18, “The sufferings of this present world are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us.” If Paul saw what you are doing today, would he be pleased or disappointed in you?

-Bradley Cobb

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