Why No One Could Stop Paul Prov 24: 16 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Prov 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again. They couldn’t stop Paul because he wouldn’t stay down. A Chinese proverb says, “Failure lies not in falling down. Failure lies in not getting up.” He got back up every time.
According to 2 Cor 11:23-27, Paul was whipped 5 times with 39 stripes each time, he was beaten 3 times, he was stoned 1 time nearly to death, and he was shipwrecked 3 times, once spending all night and day in the water. In addition to these things, he faced multiple perils on his journeys, whether he was among his own countrymen or the heathen, or whether he was in the city or the wilderness. Furthermore, he endured weariness, painfulness, hunger, thirst, cold and nakedness. Yet, none of these things stopped him.
Why couldn’t they stop Paul? Because:
He knew going in that he would suffer – Acts 9:15-16 – in other words, these hardships didn’t come as a surprise to him. From the outset of his ministry, he knew that these sufferings came with the job. This is what Jesus told his disciples in Matt 24:9-10. This is what Jesus preached in Lk 6:22-23.
He didn’t count his life dear unto him – Acts 20:22-24 – see Lk 14:26-33. Paul forsook his own life. For him to live was Christ and to die was gain [Phil 1:21]. How can you stop a man who sees death as a gain? Thus, he had the power of Christ’s resurrection [Phil 3:10-14] and could keep pressing toward the mark.
He was strengthened by the grace of God – 1 Cor 15:9-10 – Prov 24:10 says, “If thou faint in the day of adversity thy strength is small.” Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. His adversaries weren’t tougher than the grace of God. In 2 Cor 12:7-10 he actually found pleasure in persecutions, reproaches, necessities and distresses, in addition to his infirmities. You can’t stop a man strengthened by the grace of God who finds pleasure in suffering.
He was content in whatsoever state he was – Phil 4:11-12 – he had to learn this. Paul was instructed and he knew how to be content. Heb 13:5-6 with contentment, he knew that the Lord was with him, that the Lord would help him, and that he had no reason to fear what men might do to him. You can’t stop a man who is content in the hardships he endures for the Lord.
He was certain of the glory that awaited him – Rom 8:17-18 – he knew that the glory that followed was far greater than the suffering of his present time. This is how Jesus endured the cross in Heb 12:1-3. When Paul considered him, he could endure weariness without fainting in his mind. He knew that if was not weary in well-doing, he would reap in due time [Gal 6:9].
Conclusion: follow Paul’s example to get through the things you suffer in your life. Realize that suffering is a normal part of the Christian life. Understand that to die is gain. Trust the grace of God to strengthen you. Be content with the life you have. And keep your eyes on the glory that shall follow. It will be worth it all in the end.