What kept the recycled Saul of Tarsus from falling into the brink when facing public humiliation, gross misunderstanding and antagonistic betrayers? How did Paul keep recovering from brutal attacks, punishments and imprisonment?
In the simple, earthy way that The Message reads, it is this—Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory.
No matter what happens to you, there is the comfort of God and hope of resurrection to keep you enduring. This suffering is not the intended permanent state of God’s child.
Paul realized that his own years of endurance came from acknowledging that God is generous in helping us. What he could not do in his failing strength, he could do with the grace and energy that God gave him in knowing Jesus.
Paul could afford to break, because Christ’s strength became that much more apparent in difficult conditions that exposed his weakness.
Vance Havner said,
"God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever."