All of us are familiar with the transformation of Paul. He was putting Christians in jail for their belief in Christ Jesus and, in some cases, inflicting more damage than that. As the Word says in Acts 9, “Then Saul, (Paul’s name before his transformation) still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the High Priest and asked for letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.”
He thought he was right in doing so because he thought he was doing God’s will. But the Lord altered his plans when he came to Saul with a message. The Word says, “And as he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul why are you persecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘Who are you Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting…”
We are familiar with what happened after Saul’s first encounter with the Lord. We know the way he was blind for three days after the event for the truth to come to him, and what happened after that. The Word tells us in Galatians that he, Saul, tried to preach the Word after he had been sent to the deserts of Arabia for some time, but he was still looked at as one who was not to be trusted. After three years Saul went to Jerusalem, where he met with James, the Brother of Christ, and with Peter, and they began to receive him as one of them. After those first few years of his ministry, the name Saul became interchangeable with Paul which means “humble.”
In 2 Corinthians, Paul tells us about what happened to him as he went forth for the Lord. He said, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago – whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body, I do not know, God knows – such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man… how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words which is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities.”
Infirmities are weaknesses. Fragility.
“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of the enemy to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest on me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:1-10
Paul’s strength was beautiful, and amazing. He knew character was built in the challenges. So, though he’d been favored to the point of being shown miraculous things in Heaven, he was also given a problem. But he didn’t take it personally and it never slowed him down. He accepted it with humility, eventually, and went on about the work he was called to do. He wrote many letters from prison that became our Bible of today. He was a remarkable man that the Lord used in remarkable ways. He was told by our Lord the things he was to do, and that our Lord’s Grace was sufficient for him in all things. So it is for us. There may be things that come into our lives that we do not understand but, know this, when we give our life to the Lord, He never wastes it. He can and does work in spite of our issues. And teaches us along the way that we can too. What He does with us is always beautiful. Let us trust Him as we walk in Peace knowing that all is well in Him.
He always has a path to Heaven for us. His Grace is always sufficient and will see us through.