- Saul knew from the beginning of his walk with the Lord that it was not going to be a life of ease. The depth of his conversion attached him to the Savior in such a way that suffering seemed to be a small thing in comparison to the glory of Christ his Lord.
- The suffering would not come all at once. 2 Cor. 11:23-28 lists the sufferings he went through; many of them brought him to the door of death over 10 to 15 years.
- Perhaps the most comforting aspect of his ‘job description’ is that the Lord would “show” Saul/Paul the degree of suffering in each event and would also supply the grace needed.
Paul went to places where suffering was inevitable because he was “constrained by the Spirit” even though he did not know what would happen when he got there, “except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me” (Acts 20:22-23).
There was one reason why warning ahead of time about all his suffering did not divert him from his call. “I do not count my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). The name of Jesus is “the gospel of the grace of God” and that is what mattered.
How strong is your resolve to carry out and complete your calling by God? REMEMBER: It is not your strength that causes you to finish your calling. It is the grace and power of God through the Spirit.