Reference: v.19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews. (NIV Bible)
Explore: I was recently reading a blog from www.lifechurch.tv This is a great resource for practical ministry resources and discussions, particularly focused on Church Planting. The blog was that ‘You Will Be Broken’ in ministry and how that was a guarentee of the job. Many people responded as it was a real issue for many ministers. Something I noticed that was regularly mentioned, however, was that people were saying that God had broken them. My understanding is that God doesn’t break us. Our situation, the people we are around, our lack of faith and wisdom are the elements that break us. The miracle is that God can make something beautiful out of our brokenness.
In this passage Paul speaks of the hardships that he faced but no matter what happened he would continue to serve God and ‘finish the race’. He doesn’t blame God for the troubles. Those that cause hardship for the believers are the Jews, the ‘savage wolves’ and even disciples from within the group. Paul experienced many great hardships throughout his discipleship journey and proclamation missions. It was not God who broke Paul. It was the religious people who would not listen, it was the crowds who were too comfortable living in their sin, it was his own sinful desires that were ever present. God does not break people but He does acknowledge that we are broken. And His gracious response is to reach out to us, offer His own Son for us, ‘build us up’. Our God is a mighty and compassionate God. He understands our brokenness and yet can still make something beautiful of us.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for continually recreating us so that we when we are broken you will bring us healing. Amen.
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.