Galatians 6:17-18 (JDV)
Galatians 6:17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, because I am bearing on my body the marks of Jesus.
Galatians 6:18 Brothers, the favor of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your breath. Amen.
I am not sure if Paul was referring to the persecutions and difficulties he faced in his missionary work (shipwrecks and the like) when he said he was bearing the marks of Jesus. He may have been referring to the betrayal and abandonment he was feeling because of the way the congregations in Galatia had turned against him. Either way, we would have to agree that it was not right. A seasoned missionary should not have to endure such misery.
But what if these troubles had never happened? If Paul had always experienced victory in his church planting and development, we would not have these epistles. They were born out of trouble. And they have provided all of us with valuable insights about God’s design for his people in this age.
When we encounter things in our lives that are not working out right, we need to keep in mind that God’s plan includes them as well. We should be open to being taught – even through miserable means.