Below is the daily devotional I wrote this morning for our website. It seems to me that it's something fellow SI readers might enjoy or benefit from.
Blessings, - Solomon101
Everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face. Mike Tyson
Isn't that a true statement!
If ever there were some guys that got "punched in the face" it was the Apostle Paul and his protege Timothy. In their case it was both literal and figurative!
It is true that you can eventually be pummeled enough that throwing in the towel seems the only legitimate option. However, many people don't realize the strength they have within from the Lord to get off the mat and push toward their goals.....if they want to.....and are willing to continue paying the price tags. It does however mean a person has to push through the pain.
Let's take a quick look at a few of the Apostle Paul's punches in the face. I think you will be surprised.
Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus...I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal.... do not be ashamed of the testimony of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God...all who are in Asia turned away from me....Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica....At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me.... (2 Timothy collage of scriptures. ESV)
...far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. (2 Corinthians 11:23-28. ESV)
It is obvious that Paul knew about getting punched in the face. It is also clear that he understood how to get back up and continue the fight for the faith. Maybe you feel like Paul. It seems you have been abandoned and life has delivered a body shot to you.
Even if everyone forsakes you there is still one who will not. Even after all these things Paul lists he reminds us that.....
But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. (2 Tim 4:17-17. ESV)
Stay in the game! Get back up! Reengage the battle! There are others that will stand with you... and if ever a day comes they won't then the Lord Himself will!