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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!”

Endurance takes on new meaning. It becomes your anchor in the storm, your compass in times of confusion, and the head of steam that gets you up the next hill!

James 1:2-4 NLT Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Through out the NT enduring troubles and temptations is a recurring theme. Failure to endure is “wandering from the truth.”

One thing we must always recognize about success, is that it is always linked to suffering of some kind. Edward Judson once said, “If you succeed without suffering, it is because someone else has suffered before you. If you suffer without succeeding, it is that someone else may succeed after you.”

We need to remember that God knows when to discontinue a trial because its purpose is fulfilled.

Here are Three promises from His word. First, He said I would give you My comforting presence.

Isaiah 43: 2-5 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. 3a. For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

Secondly, He gives the assurance that He won’t permit more pressure than we can handle.

I Corinthians 10:13 TM No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.

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