Perhaps some people in Corinth were complaining that Paul recommended himself. In 2 Corinthians 3:1 and 5:12, he denied it. The men who really recommended themselves were teaching wrong things in the churches*.
However there was one way in which Paul did recommend himself. It was not by any proud words, like those false teachers. It was by Paulís actions, which were the actions of a true servant of God. Paul did not do these things to impress anyone, but simply to serve God.
Paul could have chosen to live a more comfortable life. However, as Godís servant, he recognised the importance of his ministry, his work for God. He knew that God had given him an extremely important message to declare*. Therefore, Paul accepted the most severe troubles as he carried out his work for God. Paul would not allow even the worst troubles to stop his work for God. Paul did not want any weakness of his own to be a reason why someone could not trust God.
Paul gives a list of some of those troubles in 2 Corinthians 11:23-33. Some troubles were the result of his enemiesí actions; other troubles were the result of his circumstances. Some troubles caused physical pain; other troubles caused fear. Some troubles continued for a long time; other troubles were brief but severe.
During all these troubles, Paul depended completely on Godís strength, help and comfort*. So God helped Paul to endure, in other words, to stand firm, during his troubles. Paul knew that no troubles could ever separate Godís people from Godís love for them*. God is doing such wonderful things for his people that their troubles in this world seem unimportant*. So Paul trusted God in all his troubles; Paulís only ambition was to please God*.
Next part: How Paul served God (6:5-6)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.