By Nancy Virden (c)2020
Paul was an author. A successful one. Thousands heard what he wrote when he was alive, and millions have read his works since his death. There is no question his life held purpose as his pen served to change despair to hope for so many. Moreover, he knew it.
Paul was in prison when he wrote the following: For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain…
While these sentiments were recorded, Paul’s body was probably racked with pain. He suffered several false imprisonments, five floggings, three times beaten with rods, a pummeling with rocks until he was nearly dead, three shipwrecks, danger, going without sleep, hunger and thirst, exposure to death repeatedly. Maybe he was disabled in some way, we do not know. Living in a place and time where he was persecuted for his faith, he knew he was likely to face more torture.
Nevertheless, his deep devotion to the people to whom he ministered, and his love for the churches he planted, drove him onward. He chose to continue his work because he felt it was all worth it.
We call him a saint, but Paul was a man who must have felt he was at his end physically and emotionally many times. However, the end is never the end.
Each end is a new beginning.
Today’s Helpful Word
I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
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NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!