In 2 Cor 4:8- 18 (rd)
Here the apostle Paul is speaking to the Corinthian church about some of the hardship & trials that he & his co- workers were subjected to for preaching the gospel.
1. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed;
2. we are perplexed, but not in despair;
3. Persecuted, but not forsaken;
4. cast down, but not destroyed;
In saying this, Paul is teaching every Christian something they need to know.
2Co 4:16-17 Therefore we do not despair, but even if our physical body is wearing away, our inner person34 is being renewed day by day. For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.
Paul is teaching us that what we suffer now can’t be compared to the glory of heaven that awaits us ! ( getting to heaven is our No.1 priority)
In fact he says that our suffering is light when compared to the weight or the load, the abundance, the eminence, the excellence of heaven !!
But he notes the fact that there are hardships & suffering in preaching the gospel & in life in general.
In 2 Cor 11 The great apostle Paul is speaking to the Corinthian Christians, or more like exhorting them for:
1. Putting up w/ false teachers (who were questioning his apostolic office)
2. These false teachers were questioning Paul’s authority, saying that he was’nt qualified to be an apostle, he was’nt eloquent w/ words & he was weak.
3. They were saying that Paul had’nt really accomplished much for the gospel.
4. Paul refutes their lies & accusations & begins to tell the Corinthian church about what he had suffered for Christ.
2 Cor 11:23-28 Rd
a.) He suffered:
- 5 times he was whipped or given 39 lashes!
- 3 times he was beaten w/ clubs.
- Once he was stoned.
- 3 times he was shipwrecked.
b.) He faced danger from:
- Rivers, robbers, people he knew & people he did’nt know !
- In the city, in the country & from believers who turn out to be false friends.
- He’s been w/out sleep, hungry & thirsty & overwhelm w/ anxiety for the churches that were in his care.
- The man had a heavy load to bear!!
- & when you read these vrses they’re not exactly promoting or shouting victory !!
- & the picture we get here is of a Christian man, or man of God suffering & enduring some heavy things for the gospel !!
c.) Now, Paul is teaching us something very basic here & that is:
1. We’re all going to face some hard things that are going to test our faith as we move forward to get to where we’re going.
- & we have to remember that according to 2 Cor 4:17 the place we’re trying to get to is the glory of heaven. (priority)
2. Also, Paul is teaching us that we’re not always going to come out on top, we’re not going win every battle.
- We know that because Paul himself tell us that he suffered countless beatings & imprisonment & almost lost his life. 2 Cor 11:23
2. Key Words.
a.) There some key words here that teach us what serving God is all about.
1. In vrse 23 Paul says, “…in labours more abundant..” the NIV version says, “…I have worked much harder ..”
2. In vrse 26, He says, “In journeyings often..” the NIV version says, “I have been constantly on the move..”
- What we see here is that even in the middle of hardship & suffering, Paul continued to work harder than any one else!!
- We see that even though he went thru times of suffering Paul continued to be constantly on the move.
-This clearly shows us that that though he suffered many things, he endured & never stopped moving forward !!!
- Paul was able to take a severe beating & yet continue to move forward !!
- He was able to endure intolerable conditions & still continue to work hard !!!
Show Rocky clip: - “It’s not how hard you can hit, but how hard you can get hit & still move forward.”
- I’ve seen many Christians fall apart, unravel under trials.
- I’ve seen many Christians get hit & go down & stay down & miss their or lose their destiny !
1. Every Christian will face trials, that’s a fact.
- Whether it’s gospel related or just the trials life brings, it does’nt matter, point is we’re all going to face trials !!
a.) Trials & tribulations.
Jesus said in Jn 16:33 “…in the world you shall have tribulation..(trouble, affliction, anguish, burdens, pressure) ”