“In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the wilderness in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren” (II Corinthians 11:26).
In the eleventh chapter of II Corinthians, Paul recounts many of the dangers he suffered for the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, Paul maintained a spirit of thankfulness as is evidenced in all his letters to the churches.
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” (Romans 1:8). “I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by Him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge” (I Corinthians 1:4,5). “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now” (Philippians 1:3–5). “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which you have to all the saints” (Colossians 1:3,4).
Paul’s matter-of-fact statement to Timothy, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (II Timothy 3:12), should be an encouragement to us and we should endeavor to follow his example as he gave thanks—in spite of all his troubles—for his true Christian brethren who loved the Lord as he did. His love for those to whom he ministered far outweighed any affliction he was called to suffer. “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For ye are our glory and joy” (I Thessalonians 2:19,20). CJH