In ‘Hard Times All The Time’, we discussed that we don’t have to go through hard times all the times. We also discussed that the reason Paul was, ‘…in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times [he] received forty stripes minus one. Three times [he] was beaten with rods; once [he] was stoned; three times [he] was shipwrecked; a night and a day [he was] in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils [with his] own countrymen…Gentiles…in the city…in the wilderness…in the sea…among false brethren.’ He was also weary, sleepy, hungry, thirsty, cold and often had inadequate clothing. But that’s because JESUS TOLD HIM in Acts 9:15, 16 that He would, ‘…show HIM how many things HE must suffer for My name’s sake.” Paul went through all of those things because Jesus told HIM he had to suffer those things. It was apart of his calling which means he was anointed and graced to go and grow through it. And though we don’t have to experience the exact same things, there is a reward that comes from going through.
Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:1 that, ‘…I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.’ Those visions and revelations were a part of his reward for all that he’d gone through. He was even given an, ‘…abundance of the revelations.’ The reason that he had an abundance of revelations is:
(1) Because he prayed in the spirit more than anyone (1 Cor 14:18).
(2) The reason he prayed so much is because he went through all of
those things listed in 2 Cor 11:23-28), and…
(3) Because he prayed in the spirit more than everybody and went
through more than anybody, he had more of an understanding than most.
Which is why he went on to write over three fourths of the New Testament.
In fact, I believe that that was a part of his reward; to be able to write about what he’d experienced and what he’d learned from the Lord and for it to be read thousands of years later by hundreds of millions of people was the greatest reward. Another reward of going through is that Paul got to spend a lot of quality time with the Lord. Those situations forced him to stay close to God. He had to so that he could have the strength, grace, wisdom, light, favor, people, and money to make it through. And because he did, you’re now able to draw strength out of his experiences. You can now search the epistles and find the encouragement, wisdom, and strength you need because like Jesus, Paul also went through for you.
Pray this with me: Heavenly Father, thank You that I don’t have to constantly fail or go without. Jesus bore the cross and went to hell for me which means I no longer have to live in these hellish conditions. Lord, show me in Your Word how to get out of this, and when you do, I’ll be sure to share it with others so that they don’t have to experience what I went through. In Jesus’ name.
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