“Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.” (2nd Tim. 2:9)
The Most High either has something He wants you to learn, or He has something He wants to reveal to someone else through you, someone who is witness to what you are going through.
Five times Paul received thirty-nine lashes to his back, do you believe it was because he committed great sins against the Lord? The times he was beaten with rods, cast into prison, stoned or freezing cold, was it because of offences against the Living God? Was being bitten by the asp just a coincidence?
“For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” (Acts 9:16)
There are actually those who believe, quite incorrectly, that all those trials, all those physical and mental pains came upon Paul because he had persecuted the saints of the Lord, even unto death. They could not be more wrong.
“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” (2nd Cor. 12:7)
I could be incorrect here, but I believe that out of all the pain that Paul experienced, this was the only one that was sent to him for purely personal reasons, the only man, that I can recollect perhaps besides John when the Revelation of Jesus Christ was revealed to him, that was ever taken up to the third heaven.
Perhaps pride was slowly finding a root in his heart, I cannot say.
Surely someone in the crowds those times he was whipped saw the truth of Paul’s unswerving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, those in the prison houses he was placed in, sometimes in painful stocks, saw something in that man they also wanted. With these truths in mind contemplate this verse.
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Rev. 12:11)
We who have been crucified with Christ are being blessed with the opportunity to be examples for the glory of God not only to those around us, but to those who will be left behind when we are removed, and I firmly believe that if your life is being lived for the glory of God, and your desire is to see the name of the Lord Jesus Christ lifted up, He is going to allow you to suffer before we are removed.
If you desire to serve Him, you must be willing to be used as an example.
Some will see mental anguish placed upon you, physical pain, the trials and tribulations, and as you stand in the fire with the knowledge of eternal love, they will want what you have.
I know of a man, a God-fearing man, who was cast into prison for three days for a deed he did not commit, and there found strength he did not know he could have.
I know of a woman, a woman of God whose heart reflects His, who watches as her husband experiences pain, and she learns a compassion she did not realize was available to her.
I watch as the world persecutes those who offer love to them.
“Of whom the world was not worth:” (Heb. 11:38)
We do not ask for these travails, when they arrive we ask for them to be removed, but, and until that time when they are, which may not happen until your death, we suffer for the Lord with joy, knowing He is with us in that valley.
They see you, you realize this, don’t you? They can tell if you are faking it, or if you truly love the Lord Jesus Christ even in the midst of the fiery trial.
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:” (1st Peter 4:12)
The Lord sent Luke the physician to travel with Paul, there is no shame in seeking out medical help, but give the Lord some time, let Him use you as an example, He may be teaching someone you know a very important lesson, an eternal lesson.