Day 4: Paul’s Suffering
Take just a moment to think about one of the most challenging, painful, or trying experiences you’ve had in your lifetime. (It may not be fun to think about, but it will be helpful to better identify with some parts of Paul’s story.)
*Take one minute to have this memory come to mind.*
Even though our experiences may be very different from the Apostle Paul, he, too, has some very painful life experiences.
In 2 Corinthians 11:23-27, Paul writes, “I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, 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 fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 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.”
As you read today, consider this: How did Paul respond to the challenges he experienced?
Think back through all of the readings from this week: How did Paul respond to the challenges he experienced?
Would you have responded any differently a year ago? 5 years ago? 10 years ago?
Would you respond any differently today?
F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)
Read: 1 Samuel 13 & 14
Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method
Heavenly Father, I’m grateful for the life and ministry and Paul, and how he set an example as to how to respond to various forms of persecution and other life challenges. Admittedly, I haven’t always responded well to some of the challenges I’ve faced throughout my life. Reading about Paul has been an excellent reminder that it’s best to respond to life challenges, rather than react to them. May this truth continue to permeate my life, so that each and every day my life is a response to You, and the life sacrifice You made on my behalf. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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