II Cor. 4:8-10 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
Very few of us will ever know from personal experience what Paul went through for the sake of the Gospel. He was a marked man and everywhere he went he faced great opposition. He was often physically attacked and came near to death upon several occasions. He was battered and bruised for Christ’s sake, but he never gave up.
What enabled Paul to go through what he did getting to the point where he would put his life on the line for Christ? Was he some super saint that the Lord was especially watching over? Did he possess something special that no one else was given? I don’t believe so.
What enabled Paul to survive and keep going back for more was his undivided devotion to God? Paul was consumed by the reality of his relationship with Christ. Paul not only talked about his faith, he actually lived it every waking moment of his life. His priority was to live rightly before God. He was consumed by a passion to reach out to the lost for Christ. He was consumed by a passion to edify the church so that she may be effective witnesses for Him. Paul was not concerned about the comforts of live. He was a determined man bent on honoring Christ in the world, no matter what it may cost him personally.
We may not be called upon to live like Paul did on earth. We may be allowed to live in comfort and not be daily threatened because of our faith. We may not experience the sufferings that many face. But, we are called upon to have similar passions for Christ that Paul had. We should strive to become consumed by our love for Christ and others. We should strive to be all that we can be in Christ so we can be all we can be for Christ. Live so that all can see Christ in you.