“They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe” (Acts 14:19, 20).
I am currently going through a particularly difficult time physically. Continual migraines, nausea, tingling, and sleeplessness sometimes bring me to the point of feeling I can’t handle things anymore.
I am very familiar with Paul–his struggle with a thorn in the flesh and his admonitions to give thanks in all circumstances; to not be anxious for anything, and many other encouragements that apply to any kind of suffering or hardship.
But as I read Acts 14, I noticed something–
Paul was beaten to the point of being considered dead. What happened then? His friends surrounded him and probably gave him needed physical attention, but he then proceeded to get up and continue on his journey ministering to others.
In a figurative sense, I feel beaten almost to the point of death. I don’t want to get up and keep going.
Paul was beaten many times, along with countless other physical sufferings (2 Corinthians 11). But each time he got up and kept going. He must have felt pain–after all, he was human. At one point he even despaired of life (2 Corinthians 1:8). But he still got up and kept going. He was obedient to God and God sustained Him.
I am not the spiritual giant Paul was, but I have the same power of God within me that Paul did.
The Lord will keep me going. I can get up. I will get up.
And I will keep getting up until I have finished what God has put me on this earth to do. He who is called me is faithful, and he will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24). And whatever you are struggling with right now, He will do the same for you.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the example of Paul and others who show that it is in my weakest and most desperate moments that You do the greatest work of empowering and strengthening me. Thank You for equipping and enabling me to endure when I feel I can’t go on, and help me to continue persevering through my pain and not lose heart. Amen.
About the author:
Bronlynn Spindler lives in North Carolina and is blessed to have the support and encouragement of a wonderful husband, three daughters, and their husbands. God’s grace and strength have brought her through thyroid cancer and continue to sustain her through ongoing back pain, depression, headaches, multiple sensitivities, and fibromyalgia. You may view her blog of devotionals at http://www.aplaceofsprings57.blogspot.com.
How does the Holy Spirit minister to you in your most difficult moments of pain or problems? Do you read favorite Scriptures or accounts of other believers who have gone through extreme trials? If you don’t have any specific ways of coping that help, look for ways that the Lord may be encouraging you that you haven’t noticed before.
Like Bronnlyn shares above, it is not over yet! that is the name of this song by King and Country, “It is Not Over Yet.” This is a cute lyric video that I hope reminds you that God is not finished with you–or your story–today!