We have always been patient, though we have had a lot of trouble, suffering, and hard times. We have been beaten, put in jail, and hurt in riots. We have worked hard and have gone without sleep or food. But we have kept ourselves pure and have been understanding, patient, and kind. The Holy Spirit has been with us, and our love has been real. We have spoken the truth, and God’s power has worked in us. In all our struggles we have said and done only what is right. (2 Corinthians 6:4-7 CEV)
I like the picture that Paul paints in respect of his approach to life. He had a different perspective that helped him.
Trouble, suffering, hard times, beaten, put in jail, hurt, hard work, sleepless nights, going without food. His story was challenging to say the least.
Got to love a good BUT!!
It shows how Paul lived, despite difficult times. He had already decided he would not go under. Nothing was going to knock him off the path of living for Jesus since the day he was knocked off his donkey and met Jesus for the first time.
BUT in purity, understanding, patience, kindness, the power of the Holy Spirit, love and truth. This were the things already set as the governing values for his life, with Jesus at the centre.
Paul was not going under because he had a different perspective. He had prepared himself for what would come his way. He lived in the wide-open space, surrounded by the promises of God.
The best news is that if we live this way, we can have the same confidence and experience too.