Colossians 1:24 - 2:5
ESV - 24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. 25 Of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known.
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2 Corinthians 11:23-29 " Are they servants of Christ? I speak in utter folly - I am too, and more than they are: I have done more work, I have been in prison more, I have been flogged more severely, many times exposed to death.Five times I have been given thirty-nine lashes by the Jews; three times I have been beaten with sticks, once I was stoned; three times I have been shipwrecked, and once I have been in the open sea for a night and a day; continually traveling, I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from brigades, in danger from my own people and in danger from the Gentiles in danger in the town's and in danger in the open country, in danger at sea and in danger from people masquerading as brothers. I have worked not sparing energy, for many nights without sleep; I have been hungry and thirsty, and often altogether without food or drink; I have been cold and lacked clothing. And besides all these external things, there is day in and day out, pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. If anyone weakens, I am weakened as well; and when anyone is made to fall, I burn in agony myself." 1 Corinthians 4:9-13: For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings. We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment. 2 Corinthians 12:7 "Wherefore, so I should not get above myself, I was given a thorn in the flesh..... Philippians 1:12-14 "Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. 2 Timothy 3:11 "And my persecutions and sufferings that came to me in places like Antioch, Iconium and Lystra -all the persecutions and sufferings I have endured; and the Lord has rescued me from every one of them. But anybody who tries to live in devotion to Christ is certain to be persecuted..." WHEW!
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