OVERVIEW: Paul shares the various ways his faith was tested and how he persevered. He refused to allow his detractors to minimize or hinder his ministry.
BIG IDEA: Let suffering mold you, not defeat you.
KEY VERSE: 2 Corinthians 11:30 (Paul to the Corinthians)
If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am.
IF GOD WROTE YOU A LETTER
I know when you suffer. I am always aware and never caught off-guard. You will experience pain from the natural world as well as from hurtful people. Some will act wickedly towards you but don’t harden your heart. Some may falsely point accusing fingers at you or claim your pain is the result of sin or lack of faith. Don’t listen to them. It’s not easy to ignore obnoxious people, but let their evil remind you to pray. Let it prompt you to look to me.
Invite me into your pain. Allow me to respond to their foolishness. Learn the discipline of trusting me in hard times. The difficulties will continue, but as your faith grows, your confidence in me will multiply. You’ll be able to boast of my strength and presence. Seek me when you suffer and allow me to strengthen you and give you peace. I understand all you are going through, and I am with you always. Your tenacity today will provide you with hope for trials tomorrow.
Identify someone experiencing an unusual season of difficulties. Ask if you can read them some Bible verses and, if so, read 2 Corinthians 11:16-33. Share that the Apostle Paul persevered through his trials, confident that God remained in control and was with him despite numerous challenges. Conclude by praying for the person.
BONUS Lyric Video