Apostle Paul undoubtedly is one of the greatest apostles of the New Testament. His writings have shaped the Christian faith more than any other, we consider him a great apostle and servant of the faith and many would desire to minister at the level of grace of this beloved Apostle. However, many forget the difficult life of Paul. His rise through Judaism, his subsequent conversion into faith in Christ, his bold proclamation of the gospel and the troubles it brought to him. It is believed that he most likely did not marry. He therefore had no conjugal consolation for any of his troubles. He was a gifted apostle but was also abused, lonely, troubled, despised, rejected and unloved! But he stands out as one of the greatest influencers of the New Testament world.
Apostle Paul has great lessons to teach us in becoming influencers in our societies. One of the most important lessons is persistence. You will not rise to become influential in a day. It would take time and sometimes it takes a very long time, but Paul teaches us to persist through difficulty.
In his letter to the church at Corinth in 2 Corinthians 12, Paul recounts the sufferings he had to endure for the sake of his apostleship in Christ. He laboured and was imprisoned. He faced the threats of death to his life. He was whipped several times and shipwrecked. He endured hunger and sorrow. He was rejected and forsaken by many. He endured lies and rumours spread to discredit his ministry but yet he prevailed! We will become influencers with ever increasing levels of grace when we learn to persist through difficulty. Many break down and give up in difficulty but let us learn from Apostle Paul. In the days of tribulation, let us seek strength in God, find rest in Him and return to the race marked out for use. When we run the race well, we will influence our society.