John MacArthur preached a sermon on 2 Corinthians 11, our passage for today. Here is the concluding prayer from that sermon, “The Hardships of Paul”:
Father, thank You for the insight You’ve given us into this amazing and incredible man. What a model he is for us and we feel, as I said, like nothing, so small, who have suffered so little and he suffered so much. But there was so much joy in it for him because of what you were accomplishing through him. He could say rejoice always and again I say rejoice, in everything give thanks. We thank You for his example. Thank You for his humility in the midst of his boasting. Yes he’s boasting about his superior credentials but they’re just evidences of his humility. He thought nothing of himself but literally gave himself away, enduring whatever came because he cared more about the truth and about the Savior. Give us that courage and those convictions and while we speak the truth in love and compassion, we speak it unequivocally, uncompromisingly no matter what the price. Give us some of those scars that indicate that we indeed bear the marks of Jesus Christ. If You were here they would treat You just like they did the first time. And since we’re Your servants, and You’re our teacher, we expect to be treated that way too. Lord, that can’t be mitigated unless we compromise the truth which is to abandon our calling and our faithfulness. Keep us faithful, Lord, give us great opportunity, give us some fruit and some joy and some reward along with the difficulties even as You did Paul whose heart rejoiced in his crown of rejoicing, even those who had come to faith through his ministry. We thank You for these things in Christ’s name. Amen.
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