Whatever anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? 2 Corinthians 11:22-29
In a most peculiar boast, Paul listed his “suffering for Christ” bona fides. Part of it was life in those days, but a greater part was persecution for who he was, and what and who he stood for. In the few years he was a Believer, he gained (and probably made) a lot of enemies.
Paul understood that life is a war, or better yet, a series of spiritual battles. Each one has to be fought individually. Whether it’s life happening or us being persecuted for what we believe, we need to stay engaged in the battle.
When you are getting knocked around, it’s easy to just want to hide away and never want to see people again. But Christ died for people, just like those who are knocking you around.
The Lord is still working in your life. Even though you may be in the thick of it,
He’s still there, waiting for you, waiting for me. He’s always there.