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Summary: Paul gives a revealing picture of the hardships of his ministry. Nine trials are listed here, and most can be found in the book of Acts. What stands out to me is how Paul writes with knowledge of how some perceive him because of the trails

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Staying the Course II Corinthians 6:3-10

NKJ 3 We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. 4 But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, 5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; 6 by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, 7 by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

The Message Bible: 3. People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly . . . in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we’re beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we’re telling the truth, and when God’s showing his power; when we’re doing our best setting things right; when we’re praised, and when we’re blamed; slandered, and honored; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all.

Paul gives a revealing picture of the hardships of his ministry. Nine trials are listed here, and most can be found in the book of Acts. What stands out to me is how Paul writes with knowledge of how some perceive him because of the trails, but then he writes of how it really is! Example: Immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all. Because of Paul and Timothy’s steadfast devotion through suffering for the sake of the Good News, it demonstrated or spoke loud that they were true ministers of God!

Endurance means, “Staying the course.” But endurance is just another word until you have to deal with a strife-torn marriage, the long road back from bankruptcy, divorce, illness and even death.

Max Lucado writes, There is a window in your heart through which you can see God. Once upon a time that window was clear. Your view of God was crisp. You could see God as vividly as you could see a gentle valley or hillside. Then, suddenly, the window cracked. A pebble broke the window. A pebble of pain. And suddenly, God was not so easy to see. The view that had been so crisp had changed. You were puzzled. God wouldn’t allow something like this to happen, would He?

Endurance takes commitment to keep going when friends fail you, discouragement whispers ‘give up!’ Doubt says, “It can’t be done!”


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