The best is yet to come - 14 March 2019

Neville Turley

“While we live in this earthly tent, we groan with a feeling of oppression; it is not that we want to get rid of our earthly body, but that we want to have the heavenly one put on over us, so that what is mortal will be transformed by life. God is the one who has prepared us for this change, and he gave us his Spirit as the guarantee of all that he has in store for us.” 2 Corinthians 5:4-5 (GNT)

Fear and anxiety are part of the daily tensions we experience throughout life. If anyone had reasons to lose hope, it was surely Paul.

He was not a healthy man. Most of his life he suffered from what he described as a “thorn in his side”. Prayer did not cure the problem. In the course of his ministry, Paul was imprisoned countless times, sometimes he was brutally treated and humiliated.

Five times he was given 39 lashes by the Jews. The Jews followed a specific procedure when inflicting corporal punishment. Whipping was limited to 40 lashes in accordance with Deuteronomy 25:3. To ensure the Law was not transgressed, prisoners were given a maximum of 39 lashes. Offenders were stripped of their clothes and bound to two pillars by their outstretched hands. Then Scriptures would be read aloud as the the beating was inflicted with a triple-thonged lash.

In the course of his travels proclaiming the gospel of Jesus, Paul was also whipped three times by the Romans, rejected .and stoned by his own people. He survived three shipwrecks, once spending 24 hours adrift in the sea. Throughout his ministry Paul faced danger from floods, robbers, Jews and Gentiles. Often, he was hungry, thirsty, and in need of accommodation and clothing. 

Yet Paul persevered, preaching, writing and planting Churches so that the teaching of Christ would spread hope throughout the world. Through the Bible we still pluck the fruit of Paul’s ministry today

Paul never doubted his final destination and what God had in store for him - neither should we doubt our final destination. 

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, grant us too courage to face our fears and strength to overcome the hardships we experience. This we ask in Jesus Name and for his sake. Amen

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