2 Corinthians 11:22-33, Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool [It is foolish to think we can be all things to all people, but apparently we should try.] —I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—[the physical] 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. [the mental stuff] 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?
Oswald Chambers said we enter this spiritual struggle as we “deliberately identify ourselves with God’s interests in other people” and “find to our amazement that we have power to keep wonderfully poised in the center of it all.”
There is a price to becoming involved in the struggles of others, whether physically, mentally or spiritually. Paul experienced this in his work of sharing the gospel. (see verses28-29) 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? Definition of indignation: anger aroused by something unjust, unworthy, or mean.
Paul said in 2 Corinthians 11:30, If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity. If you want me to boast of myself, I can only manage to boast in my faults—the things I am still working on to fix. Because I am a sinner saved by the work of Christ,I believe Paul was saying, “In others I can boast in their success, but in me, I see only my weakness.”
And then again in 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 he says, Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Jesus paid the greatest price to be involved in the world, and He strengthens us as we share His love with others.
Romans 5:8-9, But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Though weak, you still can serve today
And follow Christ’s command;
Behind the lines or in the fray
In Jesus’ strength you stand. –Hess
If we obey God’s calling, He will provide the needed strength.