We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And He did rescue us from mortal danger, and He will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in Him, and He will continue to rescue us. And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety. We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you.2 Corinthians 1:8-12
Remember my comments yesterday related to Paul’s sufferings. More than any other letter Paul has written, in 2 Corinthians he lists his pedigree with regard to suffering. Apart from the passage above there are three other times in the 2nd letter to the Corinthians that Paul lists his sufferings? Why all the focus on his sufferings? I point it out now so you can consider this aspect as we read our way through 2 Corinthians.
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.2 Corinthians 4:8-9
2 Cor 6:4-10
In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defence. We serve God whether people honour us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.2 Corinthians 6:4-10
2 Cor 11:23-33
Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served Him far more! 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 travelled 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. Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my feeling that weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger? If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am. God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, who is worthy of eternal praise, knows I am not lying. When I was in Damascus, the governor under King Aretas kept guards at the city gates to catch me. I had to be lowered in a basket through a window in the city wall to escape from him.2 Corinthians 11:23-33
What does Paul mean when he mentions the troubles he went through in the Province of Asia?
Earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan or Indonesia; riots and political unrest in many other areas of Asia; terrorists threats in Philippines, Indonesia or Malaysia; flooding and landslides or other natural disasters all across Asia. This letter could have been written in the current circumstances across Asia this year.
What does Paul mean when he refers to Asia?
And which of these events is he referring to here?
Why does he make such references?
How does this fit with the thrust of his letter to the Corinthian church?
All questions worthy of your attention and on that note I will leave you.
The Test Of A True Servant Is When You Act Like One When You Are Treated Like One.Robb Thompson
When the time is right God always comes through.Louie Giglio
The difference between winners and losers is in how they view failure. Losers see the failure; winners see beyond it!Bob Gass