From a materialistic perspective, Paul went from having it made to losing everything. Before he became a Christian, he walked with the powerful. After he became a Christian, he walked with the outcasts and oppressed. Yet, his attitude of compassion and gratitude was amazing. Though he suffered much, he never stopped rejoicing!
Consider his encouragements to the congregation in Thessalonica: For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greedGod is witnessnor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority. But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us. (1 Thessalonians 2:5-8)
Listen to his words when God refused to give him relief: Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment meto keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)
Why did Paul accept enormous loss? (1) He appreciated Gods forgiveness. (2) He valued what God did in Jesus Christ. (3) He wanted to be part of the eternal.
Why do you endure suffering in order to belong to Jesus Christ?
Link to other Writings of David Chadwell