READ: 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.
As we walk through life - we don't walk it alone. We live in this world with over 7 billion other people. Because of this many people - we are bound to at times face conflict. We come to expect it. But how do we handle it when conflict is in our own home, family, or even church family? The pain that ones words or actions can cause seem to run deeper, stab harder, and hurt longer when the offense comes from someone that we thought cared for us.
Paul is a man in the new testament that understood what it was like to face hardships, set backs and persecution. He even faced some of them from his own people (like we do from those who we thought cared for us)! Paul said, "I have been put in prison, whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me 39 lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger form men who claim to be believers but are not. I have worked long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm." 2 Corinthians 11:23-27
What did Paul do when he faced persecution and hardships? He pushed forward and kept doing the works of the Lord.
Paul said, "I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling me," Philippians 3:14. That is what we are to do to. Push forward, keep running the race, and keep working for the Lord. After all - we are not here to please man or for man's approval. We work for the Lord and His approval is all that counts!