For we don't want you to be unaware, brothers, of our affliction that took place in the province of Asia: we were completely overwhelmed-- beyond our strength-- so that we even despaired of life.
However, we personally had a death sentence within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead.
He has delivered us from such a terrible death, and He will deliver us; we have placed our hope in Him that He will deliver us again.
But in everything, as God's ministers, we commend ourselves: by great endurance, by afflictions, by hardship, by pressures,
In fact, when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest. Instead, we were afflicted in every way: struggles on the outside, fears inside.
Are they servants of Christ? I'm talking like a madman-- I'm a better one: with far more labors, many more imprisonments, far worse beatings, near death many times.
Five times I received from the Jews 40 lashes minus one.
Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. I have spent a night and a day in the depths of the sea.
On frequent journeys, [I faced] dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own people, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the open country, dangers on the sea, and dangers among false brothers;
labor and hardship, many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, often without food, cold, and lacking clothing.
Not to mention other things, there is the daily pressure on me: my care for all the churches.
Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?
If boasting is necessary, I will boast about my weaknesses.
Therefore we do not give up; even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day.
For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory.
So because of Christ, I am pleased in weaknesses, in insults, in catastrophes, in persecutions, and in pressures. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
"Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?" Samuel asked Saul. "I'm in serious trouble," replied Saul. "The Philistines are fighting against me and God has turned away from me. He doesn't answer me any more, either through the prophets or in dreams. So I've called on you to tell me what I should do."
David was in a difficult position because the troops talked about stoning him, for they were all very bitter over [the loss of] their sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God.
My adversaries trample me all day, for many arrogantly fight against me.
When I am afraid, I will trust in You.
In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence and his children have a refuge.
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are protected.
And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance,
endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.
This hope does not disappoint, because God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
As it is written: Because of You we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.
No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.
Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to be distressed by various trials
so that the genuineness of your faith-- more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire-- may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Dear friends, when the fiery ordeal arises among you to test you, don't be surprised by it, as if something unusual were happening to you.
Instead, as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah rejoice, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory.
If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
not in despair
Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, "Draw your sword and run me through with it, or these uncircumcised men will come and run me through and torture me." But his armor-bearer would not do it because he was terrified. Then Saul took his sword and fell on it.
His wife said to him, "Do you still retain your integrity? Curse God and die!"
"You speak as a foolish woman speaks," he told her. "Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?" Throughout all this Job did not sin in what he said.
the LORD will not leave him in his hand or allow him to be condemned when he is judged.
I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, so that you are able to bear it.