“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
When Paul was called to be an apostle and missionary, Jesus said that he was to suffer a lot for Jesus’ name’s sake. In 2 Corinthians 11, Paul lists what that entailed. Several times he was imprisoned, scourged, stoned, and dragged before a judge. In addition, he experienced natural storms during his boat trips. He even suffered shipwreck three times and was adrift at sea for a night and a day (2 Corinthians 11:25). And why did he have to endure all this? Because his obedient work as a missionary invited it. He was not imprisoned because he committed any crime, but because he proclaimed the Gospel. He made all those journeys not for fun, but to proclaim God’s Word in places where it had not been proclaimed before and because he had to defend himself before Caesar.
When I read this list of trials, I wonder how anyone can endure such things! Paul himself gives the answer, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” And when he sees that people come to faith through his missionary work, he even rejoices that his suffering has contributed to their salvation. According to Paul, it was all worth it!
Are you willing to endure storms for the sake of the Gospel?