2 Cor 11:22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I.
:23 Are they ministers of Christ? – I speak as a fool –I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.
:24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.
:25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;
:26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in peril of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
:27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness –
:28 besides the other things, whaty comes upon me daily; my deep concern for all the churches.
:29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?
:30 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.
:31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying,
:32 in Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me;
:33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands
12:1 It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
:2 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 one was caught up to the third heaven.
:3 And I know such a man – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows –
:4 now he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
:5 Of such a one I will boast; yet of myslf I will not boast, except in my infirmities.
:6 For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.
:7 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 satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
:8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
:9 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 upon me.
:10 Therefore I take pleasure in my infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Too often, we run from challenges. Yet the people we love to read about in the Bible are impressive because they battled challenges. With the confidence of God’s help, Paul faced challenges head on and conquered them.
If God sends you on stony paths, He will provide you with strong shoes.
PS 34:9 Oh fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.