The Apostle Paul.
Greatest Missionary Ever!
A Learned Scholar.
Wrote the Majority of the New Testament.
I just never got Paul.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy his writings and am currently walking through 1 Corinthians as part of my devotions. However, of all the people we read about in the Bible, I found Paul to be the one I related to the least. He always seemed to be on another level.
From the time of his conversion as recorded in Acts and through each of the books the Lord led him to write, I found Paul to be someone I could not relate to.
That is, until recently.
I was reading through 1 Cor. 2. In particular, I was reading verses1-5 which says, "And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. (2) For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (3) And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, (4) and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, (5) so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God."
I know Paul had a thorn in the flesh. (2 Cor. 12:7) I also know he was not afraid to speak up, even confronting the Apostle Peter when he needed it. He butted heads with some and spoke out against sectarianism and legalism.
Sometimes you read the Word of God and things just click. While reading 1 Cor. 2:1-5, I always focused on verse 2. In fact I have quoted that verse often and made it my own determination as well. This time I was struck by verse three where Paul mentions how he came to the Corinthians...in weakness, fear and trembling.
There is an image of Paul I had not seen before. Weak, fearful and trembling. Now those were things I could relate to. He also said that his message was not in words of wisdom. All this was so that the people's faith would be in the power of God, NOT in the wisdom of men.
This passage encouraged me. Ever since my head injury, I have felt weak, fearful and trembling when sharing God's Word. To know that God used Paul DESPITE those feelings and grew the Corinthians' faith through His (God's) own power gives me renewed hope.
God can use anyone. He can use weak and fearful Paul. He can use me and He can use you!