“Whatever anyone else dares to boast about — I am speaking as a fool — I also dare to boast about. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again.” — 2 Corinthians 11:21-23
Danger, danger, danger. I’m not sure I’ve ever boasted about my trials like Paul did. I tend to ask for my circumstances to change instead of changing my response to circumstances.
If you read all of 2 Corinthians 11, you will find that Paul describes much of his pain, imprisonment and persecution. He boasts to the Philippians as well, but about his pedigree, power and popularity. Paul seems to consider all circumstances something in which to boast.
But boasting is not the key here. Patience and humility work together in Paul’s circumstances so that in everything, he boasts in the Lord. He finds joy in his circumstances because each, whether victories or challenges, draw him closer to his King.
We may not experience Paul’s pain or prominence, but we must make the principle of patience prominent in our lives. This type of patience is not a flaccid waiting, but an aggressive perseverance through all circumstances. Regardless of where Paul found himself, God used everything Paul was to advance His Kingdom.
Can we live in that way? Our challenges shouldn’t dictate our faith in Christ. Faith in Christ overcomes our challenges.
— Steve Sisco, Baseball Chapel Staff
The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit TheIncrease.com for more stories and videos.