Paul realized better than most that his mission would be difficult and that God’s grace had to be sufficient to meet his needs. The Corinthian Church was a wealthy church, but the people had no intention of supporting Paul. So as he ministered, he also made tents. The tents supported the ministry. Further, Paul knew that it was a spiritual war and that the enemy and life would throw everything at him to neutralize or at least minimize his impact on spreading the Gospel across the world. So Paul very kindly, but directly lays it out–We are ministering despite poverty, beatings, accusation, imprisonment, loneliness near-death experiences, sadness–in short, NO MATTER WHAT! Paul knew that the more impact he was making, the more difficult the battle would become. So in his journey–he said, “Bring it on!”
What about us? Do we have the same call? Yes! We are to minister no matter what. We need to press on knowing it will not be easy and sometimes it will be darn near impossible. We should never expect this life to be easy. But, we can cling to the promise that the difficulties we experience now are nothing compared to the blessings that await us if we trust and follow Christ. (Romans 8-18) We have to look past the struggles and focus upon the prize–salvation to all who believe. Is it worth the struggles? ABSOLUTELY! That is why we must continue to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness–If we will, He will supply the rest. In good times and difficult times, God prepares, protects and provides, we simply have to trust Him!
God Bless You
As God’s co-workers, we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.”[a]
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
3 We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8 through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying,and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
11 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13 As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also.