By: Steve Shirley
Paul is a wonderful example to us of someone in the Bible who faced continual trials, and yet never stopped serving God and living for Him.
Here are some of the trials the Bible says Paul faced:
(Rom 7:15-25) Paul speaks of his continual struggle with sin. He says, he is a slave to sin and cannot stop it. He speaks of not being able to do what he wants, but instead does what he hates. He wants to do what is good, but instead does what is evil. (The man who wrote the majority of the books in the New Testament struggled with the same things we do each day.)
(2 Cor 11:23-28) speaks of the many trials Paul faced. He:
Was put in prison over and over
Was flogged an uncounted number of times
Faced death over and over
Received 39 lashes from the Jews 5 times
Was beaten with rods 3 times
Was stoned one time
Was shipwrecked 3 times
Spent a day and night in the sea
Was in continual danger from rivers and robbers
Was in danger from his own countrymen, as well as the Gentiles
Was in danger in the city, in the country, at sea, and from false brothers
Was weary and in pain often, without sleep
Was often hungry and thirsty, cold and naked
And was continually concerned about the health of all of the churches
(2 Cor 12:1-10) Describes how Paul was caught up into paradise and heard words no man may utter. Many scholars believe this occurred when Paul was stoned and left for dead in (Acts 14:19-20). (2 Cor 12:7) says that because of the abundance of revelation given to him, he was given a thorn in the flesh to keep him from being proud. (2 Cor 12:8) says that Paul asked for it to be removed 3 times and God refused saying His grace was sufficient. People disagree as to what this thorn was, but whatever it was, it appears to be very debilitating. (It may have been a disease of the eyes: See Q: #8 for more on this.)
(Acts 9:1-19) When Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, he was made blind for 3 days before God restored his sight.
Soooo, when you are facing trials, take a look at what Paul faced. It can put your trials in perspective.