Foolish for the willingness to stand for Christ?

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

II Corinthians 11:16-33

 I repeat, let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little.  What I am saying with this boastful confidence, I say not as the Lord would but as a fool.  Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast.  For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves!  For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face.   To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that!

But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I.   Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.  Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea;   on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers;  in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.  And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.   Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?

   If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.   The God and Father of  At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me,   but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.

How many of us can list what Paul has on his list?  How many of us have suffered for our beliefs as he did?  There are places today where this may be true but not likely here.  What do we truly have to complain of that wasn’t brought on us by our own doing and not for the work of God?  May it be said of us that we stood as firmly on the sharing of the gospel as Paul did.  Let nothing hinder our work for Christ.

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