2 God often uses the least likely people to accomplish His purposes.
3 God can use anybody—and that means you and that means me God can use anybody—and that means you and that means me. He can use anybody.
4 Acts 13:2–3 (NIV)2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
6 “The New Testament registers the equivalent of about 13,400 airline miles that Paul would’ve journeyed. He would’ve sailed across stormy seas. We know of several shipwrecks. The roads would’ve been primitive paths, many of which were unsafe and largely controlled by bandits. And there would’ve been mountainous terrain.”
7 2 Corinthians 11:23–24 (NIV)23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.
8 2 Corinthians 11:24–25 (NIV)23 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers.
9 2 Corinthians 11:27–28 (NIV)27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.
12 Paul demonstrated a quality of Joy that was not based on his circumstances
13 Acts 16:22–24 (NIV)22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
14 Acts 16:25 (NIV)25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
15 As the church begins, the Holy Spirit takes center stage.
16 John 14:16–17 (NIV84)16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
17 John 16:7 (NIV84)7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
18 Paul, I think, would say to us today, “This is…this is it Paul, I think, would say to us today, “This is…this is it. This is how the journey works. This is how you can be joyful in all trials, this is how you can be committed in the most difficult times. You have to be filled with the Holy Spirit. He has to be in you.”