Studying the life of the Apostle Paul provides a plethora of examples for modern Christian leaders to emulate. As the author of most of the New Testament epistles, Paul was used by God in a powerful way to present the gospel and the “Law of Christ” (1 Cor 9:21, Gal 6:2) to Gentile and Jew alike. Paul’s journeys, although extremely effective in spreading the gospel to the nations, are not ones that many today would welcome.
Paul traveled over 10,000 miles through the roughest terrains and most treacherous seas while facing bandits, poverty, ridicule, the abandonment of so-called brothers, and the severest of verbal and physical persecution. Throughout this torment, Paul joyfully continued from one town to the next knowing each may be his last. As a former hater and persecutor of Christians, Paul was now on the other end of the spectrum living for Christ and facing the challenges inherent with faithfulness. He instructs his young protege, Timothy regarding this truth, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…” (2 Tim 3:12).
Paul suffered for Christ and considered it a badge of honor. In doing so, he provides encouragement for contemporary leaders to live boldly, faithfully, and humbly regardless of the severity of circumstance knowing that a sovereign God is in control “and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28). Therefore, Christian leaders, continue to run the race without fear, knowing that our Savior is more powerful than any temporal circumstance.
-Soli Deo Gloria