I have always admired the Apostle Paul. The job he did for his Lord was absolutely mind boggling! The obstacles that were placed in his path would have knocked 99% of today’s preachers out of the game. His resume is gargantuan: labors, stripes (whippings), prisons, deaths (yes, he was killed & resurrected), stoned, shipwrecked, perils of the sea, perils of robbers, perils of the Jews, perils in the cities, the wilderness, the seas & perils by false brethren. He goes on to point out: weariness, painfulness, hunger, thirst, fastings, cold & nakedness. Then he adds; Besides those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 2 Cor. 11

Looking at what Paul went thru to serve his Lord & Saviour makes me want to puke when I compare myself to him! That’s why a small little verse in 2 Tim. 4:10 seems so sad to me. It says, For Demas (an old friend) hath forsaken me (Paul), having loved this present world … Now, this is something I can relate to. All of us have, at some point in our lives, suffered the feeling of rejection by someone we cared about. We know the feeling of alienation when someone we trusted goes against us or turns their back on us. We probably first saw it on the school playground when our BFF went against us, or “told on us” behind our backs.

When the rejection or betrayal comes what do we do? We all react differently depending on how strong we are within ourselves; our sense of self-confidence or well-being. Some can ‘bounce back’ & move on. Others are devastated, hurt & wary of committing to another relationship or trusting anyone ever again. Some may crawl into a shell & blame themselves. What did Paul do? Well, he got his priorities straight. He didn’t let the opinion of others cloud his view of the truly important things in his life. For example: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God … Rom. 8:28. He also says in the same chapter, for I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Rom. 8:18. Well, shucks, I guess that puts into perspective the beatings, whippings, stonings, prisons, shipwrecks, robbers, desertions & betrayals, doesn’t it? (At least Paul thought so)

Well, if you have suffered rejection, betrayal or abandonment I have one word for you: JESUS CHRIST! In Heb. 13 Jesus tells us that he will never leave us nor forsake us. In fact, the one of whom we used for an example of how to cope with abandonment or betrayal had quite a bit to say on the subject. Read Rom. 8:35-39.

Oh, and one last thing. The apostle Paul, who suffered so horribly, both physically & emotionally was a ‘chosen vessel’ unto God!, But the Lord said unto him (Ananais), Go thy way: for he (Paul) is a chosen vessel unto me … For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my names sake. Acts 9:15-16

Biblical Christianity can get real, can’t it?