I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm. 2 Cor 11:23-27
This is Paul’s testimony of persecution and endurance for Christ.
The beatings and imprisonment were at the hands of people. I can’t see where someone would intentionally wreck a ship just to persecute Paul.
But what he is saying is he endured all of these hardships for Christ.
Any persecution that I have faced is mild compared to Paul’s. I may be reprimanded but I’m not beaten.
I may be prevented from praying someplace but I’m not thrown in prison.
Maybe someone talks about me and calls me a nutcase but I’m not shipwrecked.
Then I saw the great persecution in what else he wrote. It’s the burden of concern for the people of the church.
Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches. 2 Cor 11:28
That I do have. I am concerned for my church. Every day I pray over the church. I mention by name those that come to mind. Sometimes I go seat by seat in my mind and pray over individuals.
I have one church to pray over. Paul had many. Whether it’s one or twenty, it is the great burden for a minister.
Please pray for your pastor. He is concerned over you.
Please pray for me as I pastor my church.